It’s a day to celebrate fathers, but this day isn’t what it used to be for me. It’s the ninth without my dad. Since he passed away, life has changed. So if you’re grieving your celebration, let’s scoot our chairs together and share a few minutes.
I have great parents. My mom is awesome, and I thank God she is still here. I didn’t get to have Dad long enough, but while I did, he was amazing. I know I’m lucky I got to know him at all, but it doesn’t take away the regret either.
Now, when I’m walking through parking lots and see a dad holding a little girl’s hand, or see a father and daughter at the jewelry counter at Christmas or Mother’s Day, without fail my throat tightens up and I get a little teary. When anything big happens in my life, two graduations, a wedding, getting my first job – I want to tell Dad too. I want to hear him laugh as he slaps his hands together and his eyes light up. So I imagine his reaction and then focus on my mom and husband.
So many things are hard now. All the holidays, of course. I didn’t really expect Mother’s Day to be much different, but it is too. And when I’m contorting under the bathroom sink with a wrench and flashlight taking pipes apart, I really just want to be able to call him and ask him how to not break the house.
But I think it’s good that it hurts. It hurts because our dads showed us love. Some people never get that at all. Our dads taught us that even when you have a disagreement, it doesn’t take away that love. Moving out of the house doesn’t take it away. Nothing can, because that’s what a family is.
You know what else? I believe our dads can still see us (Hebrews 12:1). I’m so thankful that Dad was a Christian, so I never really have to tell him goodbye, because I plan on seeing him again. But for now, maybe he was up there somewhere near Heaven chuckling when I screamed and ran from the spider on the storage building earlier this month. I believe he saw me graduate with my doctorate in physical therapy.
Until then, even though it hurts, let’s remember the men who learned how to fix a five year old’s ponytail, taught a teenager to expect respect from her boyfriend, or showed a son how to tie a tie. And when we feel alone in this, we can bring our chairs back together and visit for a little while. Because this isn’t going to last forever, and I plan on giving my dad the longest hug ever when I see him again.
May the Lord bless and keep you,