Essays

Dad’s Day

I’ve been sitting here quietly, thinking. It’s lunch time for me at work and everyone is out. The office is hushed. All I hear is the buzzing of my computer. Outside on the river, it’s also a bit quiet. There aren’t many boats visible and the water is lapping. The whole world seems to be silenced, exept for the occassional sound of a chirping bird.

My mood is quiet as well. It’s Monday now, but yesterday… yesterday was father’s day. It was my first father’s day without a dad. No Bill, my step-dad, who passed away a few years ago… and no dad, who passed away last year. It feels strange.

I was lucky in my life. Lucky to have two dad’s who loved me very much. Lucky to have them and lucky to know it. My life has always been full to overflowing with family. It’s big. Lots of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and yes, parents. More than just the usual two of this or that, and I’ve enjoyed it, felt a fuller life because of it. There was and never has been a shortage of love. It’s the bonus a person gets for having so much family. I’ve never been without it and I’ve known, somehow, not to take it for granted. I’ve known I’ve had a good thing. And again I say… lucky.

In the last few years my larger than life family has suffered significant loss, as families eventually do. At times it hasn’t been easy, and yet we’ve always managed to handle it with grace and dignity intact. We’ve always honored those we’ve loved and lost, and we’ve gone on missing them, and honoring them, even after they’ve passed. I’m proud of that and proud of us for it.

Now though, sitting here, I’m feeling a bit sad, which is OK. I’m sad because I’m missing my dad’s. Sad because they gave something to my life that’s irreplaceable, and I’m feeling their absence.

But then, the optimist in me only lets me indulge the sadness for a time. Even now, having talked about it a bit, I am once again feeling the hope and happiness of what I still have in my life, and the luck I feel at having known these two guys. After all, I still have some fabulous fathers in my life… My grandfather has been and continues to be a stellar man who has been a wonderful father to my mom and her siblings. My uncles, a great group of guys the lot of them, outstanding fathers all. My brothers, each and every one who’s had the fortune of having children in their lives, are fantastic dad’s. My mom’s husband, Don, who is a terrific guy and a great dad to his three kids. Many of my friends who are so outstanding as men and as fathers. The list of dad’s I know and care for is long, and I have to say that each and every one has been terrific, spectacular, in his own way.

I guess maybe what I’m feeling most is grateful for the gift of knowing what I’m missing, and because of that, knowing what I still have. I’m feeling an appreciation for the men in my life. For all the dad’s in my life who are or will be. So to them I’ll say… Happy belated father’s day. I’ve been thinking about you, thinking about the job you do, every day, just by being who you are. Feel appreciated, feel loved… you deserve it. And Dad, Bill… I’m thinking of you, loving you, missing you, and wishing you both a very happy and heart felt father’s day. I was lucky to know you, lucky to have you, and lucky to be able to call you both dad.

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