Yesterday came and went so fast, I hardly had time to adjust to the knowledge that I had been dreading the day. My first husband, Devin, would have turned 50. So long as Davis has been able to walk and golf, we have played golf in honor of his dad’s birthday, sometimes not so successfully (of course, only speaking for myself).
The day came in spurts of driving, drop offs, and errands. The girls were off on their mission trip and even Davis was not home for long until he reentered the house after a basketball game and said, “Welp, I just need to get changed and we can go!”
I sat in a kitchen chair, dumbfounded, having been living in the world of my fictional character, trying to develop a life for her mother who had gone missing and her father who had stayed. Of course, this was just the opposite of what Davis had experienced ten years ago. A father passing, a mother who stayed.
As I dug my nose out of the History of Cincinnati Opera book, Davis came back downstairs, carrying an envelope full of memories. His grandparents had been cleaning out drawers and passed along a stack of newspaper clippings and pictures from his father’s childhood and young adult years. A few snapshots made me wince, as I recognized a young self with BIG hair seated next to a young man, a smooth tan face, eyes engaged on his subject. Davis was quick to note he might never be as tall as his father, but I was quicker on the draw. “Yes, but you have his smile.”
I’m sure it was difficult for Davis to read what an accomplished golfer his father had been. But Devin grew up on golf courses, had a father who was a golf coach, so he was already ahead of the curve that Davis is driving on now.
And here I sat with Davis, wondering. Have I made the right decisions for him? How will he serve others? Will he find his passion, or does he already possess it within?
The heat took my breath away and thus I took my time on the golf course, also savoring each minute with Davis. I had to admit, perhaps we were not there to honor his father’s birthday, so much as give me an excuse to be with Davis. He would soon be in high school. Months after Davis was born, a lunar eclipsed occurred. I wrote, “As hands travel around the clock, with you I have traveled the world. I have tasted more than I ever dreamed possible.” Yes, these were the gifts that kept on giving. Time with Davis, time to understand how to let go.
We began arguing about whether or not he was taking his time on his putts, which were a little off that day. He was using his Dad’s putter that had been regripped, “I’m still getting used to the new grip.” My claim was, “You need patience.” But really, no soon to be 14 yr old had ever developed patience without trying their parents. He turned to me jokingly and said with a smile, “Dad wouldn’t want us to be arguing on his birthday.” And I replied with a smirk, “We’re not arguing, your dad would have told you the same thing.”
Later, on the 14th or 15th hole, he made a shot from behind the trees that was quite spectacular. When he came out from the trees to find me, his smile was wider than any I can recall in recent memory. That is what his dad would have wanted on his birthday.