Today is Father’s Day. I used to get stressed out just thinking about this holiday. I wanted to be able to spend time with my dad in Toronto, my step-dad in Hamilton, and my step-dad’s family, as we usually celebrated my grandfather’s birthday coming up soon afterwards. The day was always a matter of trying to balance everything.
Sometimes I did a really good job of this juggling act …
- I managed to do breakfast with one person, lunch with another, and dinner with a third.
- Occasionally, I tried to celebrate Father’s Day early with some people and on time with others. Everyone had input on this decision, and everyone seemed happy with the results.
And other times, every ball seemed to come crashing down. It was during these years that I either didn’t make it into Toronto until the next weekend and/or missed one of the family events closer to home. While my dad, step-dad, and grandpa always seemed to understand, I still worried that I might have disappointed someone.
One year, my mom and step-dad were away for Father’s Day, so I celebrated beforehand with them. The Saturday before Father’s Day was also better for my dad, so I went in early to Toronto to have a Father’s Day breakfast with him, and then I had Father’s Day all to myself. Would you believe that my grandfather’s birthday festivities were also delayed that year, so that my mom and step-dad would be back from their holidays first?! I remember thinking that this was the calmest Father’s Day ever! I didn’t feel the stress of trying to see everyone, and I even got a wonderful, quiet Sunday just for me. But then this year came …
This is my first Father’s Day without my dad. I miss him.
- I miss our nightly talks even if they were short.
- I miss going to see him, and watching him get so excited to attend and help lead the Saturday synagogue services.
- I miss hearing him say, “I love you!”
- I miss his hugs.
- I miss the little kiss on the cheek he always gave me when I arrived and before I left.
- I miss his excitement, and genuine interest, over my teaching experiences.
- I miss our conversations about world events.
- I miss his love of bridge, and his many references to Master Points. (This is a game I still don’t understand, but I know that he adored.)
- And I miss the connection that we forged in those later years when our relationship truly changed.
I have an amazing family, with an incredibly supportive mom and step-dad, whom I absolutely love. I know that the two of them want desperately to make today easier for me. To think that even a year ago, I was overwhelmed with so much to balance on Father’s Day, and now I would do anything in the world to have these problems again. For everyone out there having a difficult Father’s Day, know that you’re not alone. And for others, remember to hug your dad tightly, give him a kiss, and tell him just how much you love him, for when the time comes that you can’t do this again, you truly do wish that you did so more often.