Father’s Day without Hubby

I’m somewhere in the U.S. with six grandkids, and I’ve shooed The Parents away for an out-of-town escape to recharge their batteries. Hint: It’s known as the Garden State and it’s clear on the other side of the world continent from my home in Oregon.


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The Grands


Our first evening — after dropping The Parents off at the airport — involved dinner on the back patio, fire-building, marshmallow-roasting and S’more-making.

And then The Littles wanted to earn buttons (this is where you do an extra chore and get a colorful button in your jar that can be redeemed for a prize once you’re accumulated ten): Taking dishes and food and trash back into the house; picking up the little green ‘helicopters’ that float down from the tree; emptying wheel barrel trash into garbage cans, taking garbage cans to the curb, my little helpers.

And later there was bedtime-story-reading and teeth-brushing and pajamas-putting-on. And then a breath of quiet for the grandma.

That was Day One. And this is Day Four. Father’s Day. Father’s Day without Hubby. But surrounded by rambunctious grandchildren and a place in a family that wants me here.

Hubby would have loved meeting his three Ugandan grandsons. He would’ve loved teasing them and, in short time, they would’ve recognized the twinkle in his eye and would’ve learned to tease back. Just as the American-born grandkids did.

Instead of counting all that is lost, all that will never be the same again, I am counting all that is priceless:

1. Sitting on the patio, writing in the shade of the large tree that drops helicopters, the sound of children’s squeals and laughter and the occasional squabble—they are kids, after all—as they run through the sprinkler on this hot day

2. On this day that we honor dads, the abundance of good men in my life, past and present — Hubby, my own son and SIL, my father and FIL, my two brothers and four BILs; eleven incredible blessings, right there

3. The freedom to move about the country to spend time with family

Daughter Summer and SIL Josh will be home late tonight. There is a collection of Father’s Day treasure arranged on the fireplace mantle. And there are six children eagerly awaiting their dad’s return; six children who will want to tell him — all at the same time — what has transpired in the past four days. And some will want to tattle on grandma, how she got lost on the way home from the airport, how she might have let them stay up a little later than normal. But they have no admissible evidence.


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Counting all that is good in my life on this beautifully-warm Father’s Day somewhere in the Garden State.

What about you? How many blessings surround you this Father’s Day?

P.S. If you found this helpful of inspiring, please share, tweet or post!


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  1. Doug ford

    Marlys, every week I find your adventures inspiring. Life is not perfect and I feel I gain strength from your words and experiences. I appreciate you every week that I get to read.

  2. Erin Dougherty

    Your words brought needed focus and peace to my mind and heart today…remembering the choice to live in gratitude for every blessing each moment. Thank you.

  3. Karen Wykes

    Marlys, you are an inspiration!! Six children all by yourself for four days! WOW!. Hope you can get some rest, soon. Hugs, Karen

  4. Tami Brigham

    MARLYS, I wish I would of read this earlier in the day! You are inspirational! What a fun way to spend Father’s Day!. Your writing is such a gift! Great photos also!! 🙂

  5. Nancy M

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You write with such love and feeling and this truly helped me take the focus off of all the things that break my heart and what is missing in my life and reminded me to count my blessings of what God has done in my life. Father’s Day since my divorce is a very very painful day for me as my heart breaks for my ex in thinking about how our lives were supposed to be and unfortunately are not. I guess I need to focus more on making new memories for my children instead of dwelling on the things I can’t change. Tough to say the least. My hearts breaks over this situation. I’ve been quite angry and that has gotten me nowhere fast so I guess it’s time to stop focusing on the things I can’t change, start to try and pick up the pieces and spend my energy rejoicing in what new blessings I can count each day. Thank you for you transparency. God Bless.

    • I can’t begin to imagine how challenging it would be as a single mom on the special days – such as Father’s Day. Blessings to you, Nancy, as you move forward despite the hurt and heartbreak.

  6. Ed

    I love the way you make us visualize your adventures! Thanks for sharing. When’s the novel coming?

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