It’s Father’s Day eve and after getting all three kiddos in bed, I find myself in front of the computer contemplating what Father’s Day has become. Interestingly enough, the day has shifted towards celebrating my husband and the wonderful father that he is to our 3 little ones. It is a day to be celebrated, recognizing all those fathers (and father figures) in our lives who give so much of themselves to their loved ones. Those are the ones we celebrate who work tirelessly to ensure their families and those entrusted in their care have what they need and sometimes even more. But it becomes an interesting day for someone like me who can only celebrate, in person, the father I made but misses the father who made me. It’s an interesting time of year. My Dad, who passed almost 10 years ago, had a birthday just around Father’s Day, sometimes even with the two falling on the same day. I find myself not so much emotional as I am more focused on deliberating the kind of person my father tried his best to raise me to become. I’m often hard on myself, worrying that perhaps he would not have been the most pleased with some of my decisions and I also ponder what life would be like if he were still here. What kind of grandfather would he have been to my kids? What kind of relationship would he have with my husband? How would my parents have spent their retired years, post raising me? I do my best to celebrate his legacy, telling my kids stories of the kind of man who raised me. They are able to recognize who their other grandpa is… “the one who died.” In the ten years since he’s passed, I have grown a little stronger about what Father’s Day is. I can look past the sappy commercials where daughters dance with their dads on their wedding day or when a son is telling his father that he is about to be a granddad. I no longer feel sorry for myself when friends talk about their dads or when I get to meet a friend’s father. It’s heartbreaking that my children came into this world, down a grandparent, being that I desperately wanted to avoid that (I came into the world, down two). I wanted them to have a “whole” family, all 4 grandparents included. However, how “alive” my father is all depends on me. It’s up to me to keep his spirit alive and pass that on to my children. I refuse to let a loss become “my loss” when his life can live on in me. So with that being said, I look forward to Father’s Day. I can still celebrate my Dad and praise the man with whom I share a last name. And I look forward to all the opportunities, Father’s Day and beyond, wherein I can build upon his legacy and see his light shine through my son’s eyes. Happy Father’s Day to all those who carry their families on their backs, both male and female, alike!
My dad and I circa 1987-88
Passing on his legacy (and humor) with my own.