That’s me and my dad…30 years ago. It’s one of my favorites from an amazing day. Taken just after he told me he was proud of who I had become and amazed at how calm I was (the photographer had to remind me to get dressed, I was happily chilling in cutoffs and a t-shirt an hour before the wedding). Then, as the music started, just as we were about to walk down the aisle, he asked me the question all dads should ask their daughters…are you sure, we love Greg, but you need to be 100% sure. I was sure. He smiled and off we went. What I love about this picture is it kinda looks like I was holding him up. The truth is…I was, he was shaking and on the verge of tears. Once down the aisle, when he was supposed to release me to my man, we had an extra long hug…an oh no, is he going to let her go hug. I loved it.
My dad was a typical dad from the 70s, commuting to work, reading the paper while sipping coffee and smoking, tennis, volleyball, fixing up the house, doing the bills…he loved us dearly but my mom did most of the kid related stuff. He was always good at saying I love you, ahead of his time on that one, affection usually came in the form of a slap on the thigh while driving in the car, no eye contact, just a slap then shake and an I love you Kat, I miss that.
Side note: as I suspected in May, I have seen no OpEd articles on why Father’s Day should be obliterated. No stories about how it is not fair because some people had bad dads, or some people no longer have dads on this earth. I guess those emotions only apply to women, celebrating male parental units is totally fine. Sigh.
Celebrating my dad even though he no longer is physically here is a choice I made early on. He passed away when my kids were young, young enough to only kind of remember him. I wanted my kids to know him…his likes, his quirkiness, his humor, his gentle nature, and his incredible smarts. We celebrated Dia de Muertos with an altar with all the things he loved when they were young. We eat Entemmann’s cakes, licorice, and donuts in honor of him on special days (tough work but but we power through it). We talk like he is still around, Jacob, you look just like Papa when you sit like that…Olivia, you are so funny, Papa used to come up with great answers to games just like you. They know their Papa just like kids who get to see their grandpas in person. He lives on.
As with Mother’s Day I feel for those who do not have nice relationships with their fathers, and my heart hurts for those who no longer have a dad to hug. I understand the later, and it does sting. That said, the best way for me to honor my dad is to have a nice day, maybe with a little extra sweetness in it, maybe a little chat with him while I walk on the beach…and most definitely, with a kiss to the sky.
I love you dad. A lot.
Happy Father’s Day to all who are celebrating it. A special shout out to the wonderful father of our two kids, there was never any doubt in my mind you would be a great dad. To all the Uncles, Brothers, Grandpas, and good men who take time to make this world better…thank you and enjoy the day.