I do realize that it was a few days ago but this post took a bit of time to process.
Over the past 9 years since my father’s passing, I have spent Father’s Day thinking about all the times I didn’t tell my dad how much I loved him and how I took our time for granted. I believed I still had a lifetime with him. Years of fighting back tears, angry that my children never met their grandfather. Thinking about all the things they would have learned from him. He was supposed to teach my daughter how to pitch a softball this year, the same way he taught me.
This year, I anticipated the moment the expected sadness would hit me and consume the rest of my day. That moment never came. I found myself smiling and laughing, recalling my favorite memories of him.
- My dad would crank up the Mannheim Steamroller CD on Christmas morning to wake up my sister and I.
- Then in July, he would walk around the house singing, “Tis the Season..to be jolly.”
- While looking in the fridge for something to eat, I would be pulled into a shadow boxing match. Which by the way, is a great skill to have and I have tried to share with my kids.
- My dad headbanging to ZZ Top in his minivan with Bass Pro sunglasses and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
- The spark in his eye when he heard that he was going to be a grandfather.
I did get one final Father’s Day just weeks before he passed away. He was over at my house the night before he passed and told me not to get up to say goodby. I was 8 months pregnant and getting up off the couch was quite an ordeal at the time.
This year on Father’s Day, my boyfriend asked, “Are you going to go see your dad?”. I couldn’t, not alone, but I felt the need to turn Father’s Day into a celebration. It was quickly decided that next year we would start a new tradition on Father’s Day. My boyfriend and I are going to pay my father a visit, probably leave him a pack of the cheapest cigarettes we can find, and then go play a game of pool at a hole in the wall bar over a few gin and 7s. (no straw, don’t stir).
Now the tears did come and I did have the sadness that finds me often in my life, but I didn’t feel so helpless. I’m far from the only one that misses someone on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Christmas and Birthdays. Everyone has different ways to celebrate and remember the ones they love and miss every day.
Each year I have felt the desire to honor my dad in some way but I couldn’t seem to find the right way. I didn’t want it to feel forced. Now instead of approaching each Father’s Day with trepidation, I am excited about enjoying the day the way he would have wanted to.