My Would-Be Husband

Goodbyes are always so difficult for me.  My aunt and uncle have been visiting for the past ten days and left this morning.  We live on the opposite coast from my family.  Time spent with them is precious and slips through my fingers every time.

I was two years old when my father died.  Growing up without a father is life defining.

When you are a child without a father, you see them everywhere.  Holding hands with their children, teaching them to ride a bike, tossing them in the air.

When you are a child without a father, you ache for what you don’t have.

Your heart breaks when you hear the term “Daddy’s Girl,” as those words will never be used to describe you, no matter how much you wish it were so.

My uncle, my godfather, was just a teenager when I was born.  He was so incredibly cool and handsome; I was sure that I would marry him.  I followed him everywhere and knew that he’d marry me just as soon as I could convince him how wonderful a plan it was.

We watched football together, he taught me to ride a bike, he took me for rides in his car, he played his Foreigner and Styx albums (yes, albums!) for me.  I adored him.

All this time, he was giving me the one gift that no one else truly could.  He was being my dad.

His kindness, compassion, and presence are gifts that have lasted me a lifetime.  They are gifts that ultimately led me to my husband, as I knew that I could settle for no one less wonderful.

What a lucky woman my aunt is!  I sure hope she’s enjoying my guy.

13 comments

  1. KLZ taminginsanity.blogspot.com

    Oh, that's sweet!

    My cousin asked me to marry him when was 5 and I was 17. I've been curious ever since to see if he'd marry an older woman….

  2. Lyndsey

    Nichole,

    Manny and I are also foreign to a childhood of being close to our fathers. He didn't know his Dad and my parents divorced when I was young and I had a much closer relationship with my Mom. It is so strange for both of us to raise Max together! I love every minute! My Aunt's husband, Uncle Ed, was my close Uncle. I lost him 3 years ago this weekend to lung cancer. He was such and influence in my life and I miss him everyday. But what I miss most is that Max won't know him. I cherish every moment with my family!

  3. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    The fact that I didn't have a father made it even more important to me that when I had kids, I had them with someone who would be a great dad. The connection between Katie and Craig allows me to live vicariously through them. There isn't a day that goes by when I'm not mindful of just how important he is in her life. She's such a lucky girl.
    It is so unfortunate that Max never got the opportunity to know your uncle. Seeing Katie with my Uncle Max this week makes me sad for your little guy–and for you.

  4. Holly

    That was beautiful:) I definitely can relate but, as an adult I was given a father. At 30 years old and let me tell you it healed some things inside of me. He has treated me like his baby girl and I cherish the time we have together.

  5. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    How cute is that!? How old is he now?

  6. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That just shows that it's never too late to feel valued and special. I'm so happy to hear that you've been able to experience this, Holly. You truly deserve it.

  7. Kris prettyalltrue.com

    Goodbyes are hard for me. Always.

    As are the welcoming hellos, actually . . . when it seems as though my life will be disrupted and chaotic.

    But that time in the middle, between disruption and exit?

    Love that part.

  8. Aunt Darlene

    You certainly know how to make someone cry. This touched me in different ways. I feel your empty heartedness and it breaks my heart. I remember you wanting to marry your Uncle Max, it was the cutest thing and brought back some awesome memories. To hear you talk about him in that way makes me very proud of my brother, and warms my heart that he left such an imprint on your life.
    I love you kiddo! More than you will ever know.

  9. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I was so lucky to have such a strong family as a child to help me to learn and grow. Having such a wonderful uncle and amazing aunts helped me to feel like I was a part of something bigger. I never felt a shortage of love from you all. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for each and every one of you. I love you, too!

  10. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That middle part is truly delightful.

    The funny part is that when my uncle arrived, he said, "we're going to blink and our ten days here will have passed and we'll be in this same spot, lamenting the fact that it flew by." And that is exactly what happened.

    We've agreed that the next time they're here we'll watch paint dry or water boil to make the time pass far more slowly.

  11. jaseza

    Speaking of watching water boil: next time they visit, stay at the Oregon house and make pasta…that'll help the time slow down. :)

  12. Awww… this totally made me tear up :) Beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss at such a young age. You're family sounds pretty amazing. <3

  13. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank so much for your comment. :)
    I am truly blessed with a wonderful family. If I hadn't known loss, I might not appreciate them nearly as much as I do.

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