Today is Father’s Day. And I’m fully aware that next year’s Father’s Day just might be a lot different than this year’s Father’s Day. Just like this year’s Father’s Day is much different than last year’s.
But this year, I’m taking the time, and focusing my energy, to appreciate my father. My dad. His health is declining rapidly these days. It’s tough to see him unable to stand for long periods of time, not walk far distances, and to not be able to do things that he loves to do.
My dad has always been good with his hands and able to figure out any problem. Since as far back as I can remember, my dad always loved to tinker with things down in his work area in the basement. He was always fixing this or that, or improving this or that, or building this or that. He never had to go to a mechanic when something went wrong with his cars, because he knew how to fix just about anything. Similarly, we never had to call a plumber or a carpenter or anyone for household repairs. My dad, in the days before YouTube and Google, was a walking encyclopedia for how to fix anything.
But these days, he can’t do any of that. And that makes me sad. But it really hurts him. And he’s told me can’t stand not being able to do any of the things he loves to do.
So, he’s given away his tools to me and my brother and brother-in-law and my cousin. And that is so sad to me too.
He’s coming to the end of his life. And I don’t know. Maybe he’ll live another 5 years or even 10 years. I certainly hope so. But I don’t know. Hell, he survived a heart attack and a quadruple bypass and a stroke and cancer. He’s beaten the odds time and time again. He’s so strong. It’s unbelievable.
But, the bottom line is that I don’t know how long my dad has left on this Earth. So, I am going to make the most of today.
I got my dad a simple card this year so that I can write my own words in it. I will tell him how proud I am of him, and how happy I am that I’ve had him as a dad. He’s shown me what a dad should be – strong, understanding, loving, and vulnerable. He’s shown that a dad should always be there for his children. And that has helped me so much in my life. It was ingrained in me to be a good parent. To always be there for my kids. And that has helped me be a single parent. It has helped me through the dark times. And I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful for him and to him.
Nothing will ever take that way. Nothing. Not his passing. Nothing.
One of my earliest and absolute warmest memories from my childhood, is my mom giving me a bath and then taking me out of the tub, wrapping me in a towel, and carrying me down to the family room and putting me on my dad’s lap. This happened many times over the space of several months. And I can remember how warm I felt in his warms. How safe. How loved!
I will always carry that feeling with me.
And so on this Father’s Day, I want to say “Happy Father’s Day” to all the Dad’s out there. And I especially want to say it to my dad. And to let him know how much I love him and appreciate him. I want him to know how grateful I am to him. I’m grateful for myself and grateful for my kids too. My dad showed me how to be a good dad, and that has helped me immensely with my own kids.
I bet he knows. Maybe not all of it, but most of it. But still, betting isn’t enough. I need to tell him. I need to make sure he knows. And I want to let him know in my own words. Because he deserves it. He deserves that and so much more. Especially today.