Thirteen years. That’s how long it has been since I could spend Father’s Day with my dad. 1996. I was pregnant with my daughter and he was excited to be a grandpa. He never got to be a grandpa here on Earth. And I never had a chance to appreciate my dad the way you do when you become a parent. I appreciate it now…but it is all memories. And I still miss him so much.
Dad was so patient and laid back. Even when I’m sure he wasn’t. I wasn’t the easiest kid to teach to drive, and yet when I hit another car one of the first times he took me out driving, he smiled and explained to the couple in the other car that I was just learning.
Sometimes early on a summer morning he would come in to my room quietly and ask if I wanted to go to church with mom & K (my sister) or go out fishing with him. Often I chose fishing. Those early mornings on the lake mean more now than any sermon I would’ve heard.
In college he would call on Sunday mornings early. Not every Sunday, but at least a couple of times a month. He would just chat a little and then ask how much money I had in my account. He’d tell me that he’d put a little in for me. Usually it was no more than $20, but that was a lot for this college kid. It would buy quite a few tacos at the place across the street. It was the early ’90s and tacos were cheap. Sometimes I would be annoyed at first when the phone would ring so early on a Sunday. Maybe because I’d been out a little too late the night before? But by the time it registered that it was my dad, I was happy to have answered.
We certainly had our disagreements, some were even big ones. But I always knew he loved me. I only hope he knew the same. I think he did.
I could talk about him forever. I still buy him a Father’s Day card occassionally. I think there are about a half a dozen in a keepsake box of letters I have. Strange maybe, but they were cards that said just what I wish I could say to him.
So on this Father’s Day it is about the father of my children as I try to hide the melancholy feelings. My husband gets the raw end of the deal it seems. The kids make cards and today they got up early and made smoothies and waffles as a surprise. He doesn’t expect a big deal. I am sorry about that. I wish he could expect my full enthusiasm. His first Father’s Day was my first without a father. Not a good way to start.
I would think of my dad no matter what, but having a husband that has so many of the wonderful qualities my dad possessed makes me more reminiscent I think.
The man I married and had kids with is warm and fun. Helpful and hands on. This is a man who wanted the bassinet on his side of the bed so he could get up with our kids too. He would change them and bring them to me to nurse, asking if I wanted him to stay up and put them back to sleep afterward.
He loves his children dearly. I see if every day.
Lucky kids. I know how they feel.
I hope they have dozens of more Father’s Days with him.