I just got off the phone with my dad. A quick Father’s Day call to tell him I love him and was thinking of him. It was brief and casual because we just returned from spending the weekend with him. Because yesterday he, along with my aunts, uncles, and grandmother said goodbye to my grandfather. Today is their first Father’s Day without him. But he lived a long life, and celebrated a whole lot of Father’s Days. Sad? Of course, but there are silver linings to be found and the comfort of knowing how lucky they were to have had so many Father’s Days with him. Today is sad, but it’s still a celebration.
A celebration for me because I love my dad. I’m so blessed to have a dad like him and be close enough for him to be a regualr part of his grandkids life and for them to be so close with him. We are all blessed. A few years ago we faced the possibility of life without him, but came through. Father’s Day to me is a gift, and I’m so happy to have my dad to call and to see and to hang out with.
For my husband Father’s Day has always been difficult. His father was never a big part of his life and passed away when he was only 18. But now as he celebrates his 7th Father’s Day as a father he’s finally starting to embrace it. Embrace what it means to him, which is being a part of his children’s life, loving them, and just being happy to be here. I love him for that, and there is not another man in the world who could ever be a better father to my children than him.
This year I look around and feel mixed feelings about this holiday in general. I see families with young children celebrating their first Father’s Day without a father, or families celebrating their first Father’s Day as a father. Adult children like my dad spending the day reflecting on the almost sixty Father’s Days he spent with his father. Or adult children like my mom who for the last 18 years hasn’t had her father to say Happy Father’s Day to, and still wishes she did.
Or friends who live miles away and on days like to today wish that their father was closer than just a phone call.
Father’s Day means different things to all of us, and as life happens that meaning will change and deepen over time. So wherever you are today and whatever you’re doing, whether it be celebrating, grieving, reflecting, or simply making a phone call, embrace it.