Father’s Day has come and gone. I took my husband out to dinner and bought the proverbial “You’re the best father in the world” card and cards from each of our two cats.
But my husband stepped into the father role when my son was eight. The going was rough, but somehow we managed to weather and survive the continuous barrage of family relationship storms.
My son’s father remains very much in the picture. He lives close by and, while he has a new wife (his third) and a young son thirty years younger than ours, he takes an active role.
Still, on Father’s Day, my son’s step dad (my husband) stands in the wings. While my son tries his best to honor both dads and to spend time with both on Father’s Day, it’s not always possible.
Like this year. There was a father/son golf tournament that teed off at 8:30 a.m. and lasted for hours. It was over 90 degrees and, after a discouraging game, my son went home to recover. He couldn’t muster the energy to then trudge out our way for a second Father’s Day commemoration.
Who could blame him?
Thankfully, his step dad took this in stride. The three of us will celebrate later this week.
But these preordained days that “force” us to honor a parent seem artificial and, as in our case, complicated. Why can’t we celebrate our parents on our own schedule, at our own pace?
Last year, I blogged “Apologies to My Dad on Father’s Day.” Sadly, he passed away almost eight years ago, and my apologies were after the fact. It felt good for me to get some stuff off my chest, but my dad probably didn’t get the memo.
Why hadn’t I told him when he was still around that I was sorry for having teased him when, at age 80+, he couldn’t get up from the exercise mat on the floor? (I get it now: I’m having trouble pushing myself up from any lower than, say, two feet.)
Why was I so selfish in urging him not to die on my birthday? He was in a coma of sorts and, hopefully, didn’t get that memo, either. Still, he didn’t need any pressure from me as he struggled to move from this earth plane to whatever is next. (He did die on his own terms the day after my birthday and waited until all of us, including the hospice nurse, were out of the room.)
My sister called me last Sunday. We reminisced about our “daddy-o” and so many events both good and not so good that continue to give us pause, joy, and strength. I treasure my sister connection and the special ways in which she and I can talk about things that no one else in the world can understand.
For that, dad, I am eternally grateful.