On Father’s Day

It’s the third Sunday in June, which means it’s Father’s Day. My head tells me it’s just another day on the calendar, but my heart reminds me that it isn’t- that no matter what I tell myself- today is different. Father’s Day is irrevocably different when your father is dead, and especially when you didn’t know your dad all that well. For me, Father’s Day isn’t merely a reminder of my dad’s absence; it’s a reminder of all the could have’s, of all the memories that should have been made. I can try to tell people how much my dad’s absence impacts me all I want, but I can never adequately explain to them what it feels like. More than anything, Father’s Day serves as a subtle reminder for me of all the memories that could have been made, of all the times that my dad should have been there, but wasn’t. I don’t have very many regrets in life, but I can say without a doubt that my biggest regret is the fact that I never got the chance to know my dad more, to be a more active part of his life. And Father’s Day is a reminder of that. It’s a reminder of my dad, yes. But it’s also a reminder of all the seemingly small aspects of my life that have been impacted because of one man’s absence. An example of this? I can no longer even go to the park without being reminded of my dad. I see kids and their dad’s enjoying nature and wonder why that can’t be me. It seems like a small thing, sure. But in my heart, it isn’t. In my heart, I see kids and their dads, and silently long for what they have- a dad.

I think it’s safe to say Father’s Day isn’t just another day for me. And chances are if you’ve lost a dad, it isn’t for you either.

Father’s Day without a dad can be hard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be meaningful.

On this Father’s Day, I’m choosing to reflect on the good times, on the good memories I have of my dad.

This piece’s picture was the last picture I ever took with my dad, the last time I saw him alive.

I’m unsure of what was said then, but I’m confident that one of the last things I said to him was “I love you.”

And so I’ll end this piece with one of the last things  I uttered to my dad.

“I love you.”

 

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