Three and three quarter years on and still not an easy day to get through ... going through the motions as an onlooker rather than as the daughter I was, painting on a cheery smile when deep down, all I truly want to do is tuck myself away somewhere private and sob my heart out, until the day has passed.
But Dad would have been the first to tell me with a twinkle in his eye 'Chin up girl, life goes on' and he would have been absolutely right; so yesterday, my garden was filled with a lively rabble of grandchildren, Stuart's daughter, my daughter - his step-daughter, his parents, brother-in-law and sister ... and of course, my Polly in the thick of it all, having a whale of a time!
Most importantly, Stuart and his Dad shared their Father's Day together. Just how Father's Day should be.
As for me, I smiled, chatted, took pics, enjoyed the kiddies' games and took a pride in how gentle Polly was with them. I saved my tears until today, after all, such a huge loss never quite diminishes. How I miss that lumbering form appearing unexpectedly on my porch step, telling me to 'stick the kettle on PJ' ... and how I miss putting our worlds to right over a steaming hot cuppa. But most of all, like my four sisters, I just miss knowing he's here with us, indomitable, steadfast, strong ... our Dad.