Father’s Day 2018

It will never be waisted on me how hard and sad and painful these special holidays which line our calendars are for so many people for so many reasons.  They just will never be all sunshine and roses…they will be a mix bag of joy and sadness.  Always.  Father’s Day has felt heavy and broken and wonky to me for many many years.  Losing Everett has added to this day and it’s not even my day.

I thought about Josh Kelley over and over again and how this day would feel to him.  There is loss and paid and grief, but Josh is wit and humbleness and love.  He’s a dad who needs nothing special from us, but that just means I want to celebrate him even more.  It will also never be lost on me to have him in our lives.  He goes above and beyond every single day and nothing is off limits in fathering for him.

Josh does everything I do and more.  He works so hard for our family and then comes home and changes diapers and does laundry and bathes kiddos.  He helps keep us afloat.  He digs in deep to parenting and family and he’s here for it all…the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.  The kids all made him cards for Father’s Day.  They drew pictures and wrote sweet words.  Harper made her card from her and Everett.  I died.  Solomon made his from he and Leo and even got Leo to scribble all on the outside of his card.  I died again.  When Josh opened Solomon’s card a $5 bill fell out that Sol had given him from his own money.  I’m completely dead.  Josh is the dad who’s worthy of his 9-year-olds $5 bill.

For Father’s Day I forced him to make some choices…like what he wanted for lunch and dinner and special dessert.  He picked donuts for the kids for breakfast.  He chose grilled hot dogs with diced onions and chips selected by the kids for lunch.  Cheetoh Paws made it into our cart and the crowd went wild.  THESE strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing served as dessert all day long.  And for dinner he wanted THIS roast recipe.  It’s amazing.  Try it now.

We spent a good chunk of the day at the football field with his dad watching the boys play their last flag football game of the season.  We all slurped on icees and tried to stay cool in the shade.  It was crazy hot so we we’re working overtime to keep Leo cool.  Josh ended up wrapping his head in a water soaked bandana to try and keep him cool and it was cuteness overload.

Grief is so different for each of us and everyone deals so differently as well.  I’m all about us all going to Everett’s grave together and colorful decorations and Josh, he likes some alone time there so he went solo on Father’s Day to visit Everett’s special corner of this earth.  I ran how that must have felt to him through my mind over and over again.  We just so wish our sweet boy were here with us.

It’s hard bouncing back and forth between this time last year with Everett and this time now with Leo.  Leo has brought our family so much joy and he’s been good for all of our hearts, but he is not Everett.  And we never expected him to be.  He was not Everett’s stand-in or replacement…he is our son…he is the littlest brother…to us all…including Everett.  The connection they have is beyond priceless and it’s a connection I am forever and deeply grateful for.  Knowing that Leo has been loved by Everett, gosh, I just don’t have the words.

As time moves on and these holidays and moments keep rolling in we will keep remembering and honoring even in the pain.  Nothing is completely desolate.  Nothing is completely void of joy.  There will always be good and Josh Kelley is such a gift we do not deserve.  He makes us better and once again, we find ourselves the luckiest.


  1. Amazing! Truthfully, painful, joyful but ALWAYS full of PURE LOVE and hope. Everett is on your mind and in your hearts everyday and always will be. I’m sure you still count heads and are surprised each time to find you are missing one. Leo looks like he is growing. Your children have THE BEST family and parents. You are so correct, Special days are very hard for many for lots of reasons. Happy Fathers Day Josh. I love you, Kelly Family! Hugs from West Virginia.

  2. Couldn’t love this more. You two are truly something special.

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