Father’s Day (Day 170, Year 2)

Father’s Day is a day that often feels a little weird to me. I would not use the word bittersweet; because on this day that honors fathers, I can only say that I had the best and I continue to be surrounded by the best. But I miss being able to wish my own Dad a Happy Fathers Day. And I don’t enjoy the memory of his last Fathers Day here; when I did not want to see him because he was not him anymore. 

But, as my Dad would always and exhaustingly say, life is for the living, so I must always go on with the living and let the dead be, well, dead.

I told you, it’s weird. 

It has gotten less depressing; not because I miss him less; but because I am nearing a point where he’s been gone for so long that I am used to his absence. 

I had a father and I don’t now. And that’s okay, because it has to be. I had him long enough to know he was good at being a Dad, but not perfect. I was able to see his struggles and understand them as a parent.  One thing I know, and I write this with total humility, I know nothing about being a father. 

I admire my own husband for the good, hard, joyous, imperfect father path he walks. I don’t know how he does it. I know our children see his good and they see his bad. I think the seeing of both is what grows their genuine, deep, trust-filled relationship. 

He gives them so much confidence to try things and fail, knowing that no matter what, their Dad is a safe place to land. I am not sure how he does all of that; but he does. Just like I have no idea how he fixes everything that breaks (often several items a day). 

While this day is a simple celebration of fathers we love; I also think it is an acknowledgement of unique and special and mysterious thing that is fatherhood. I am so grateful my husband is the father to my children. I am so grateful for the father I had. And I am so grateful for all the wonderful fathers in my life—my father in law, brother in law, uncles, cousins and friends. 

Happy Father’s Day.