Every year, just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day always follows. For some, this day is easier than Mother’s Day, for others it’s harder. For some, like me, both days just kind of stink. I do spend the day missing my dad, just as I missed my mom on Mother’s Day. I will go to his grave, lay flowers, and think about special memories that a he and I shared. To him, I say Happy Father’s Day and thank you for loving me as much as you did.
As those of you who have read some of my other posts, you know that my dad died when I was nine years old. It was the fourth day of fourth grade and it made for a difficult last two years of elementary school. I was bullied, lost friends, and deemed “weird” for not having a dad. But, there were people who stepped up during these years to help my mom and I both through our grief journey and who willingly stepped into the “Dad” role when possible. My uncle was one of them. He would fly the thousand miles from Florida for important Father/Daughter events including dancing with me in one of my dance recitals and filling the role of “Dad” at my Debutante Ball and on my wedding day. As I have grown from child to adult, he has continued to encourage me and help me balance and weigh important decisions. When I need him, I know he’ll pick up the phone and be ready to listen on the other end.
There were two other dads in our church community that stepped up for the day-to-day activities. If they were taking their kids to Braum’s for ice cream, they would stop by and pick me up to come too. If they were headed to the movies, they would call me to come too. They would also take time to individually check in with me to see if there was anything they could do to help. They started this when I was 9, and 19 years later, they are still checking in every once in awhile to make sure that I am doing ok and if I just need to talk.
Then there’s my Father-in-Law. This man has taken me into his home and his family as if I was always one of his own. He provides advice when asked and is always equipped for a funny story or random fact and is always sure to make sure you have enough coffee. Whenever we need him to drive us somewhere or to help us with a project, he is there and always 30 minutes early. I definitely lucked out with him and am so thankful for his constant humor and kindness.
To all of the men, and women, who have filled in for a child who is lacking a father to help them through life, we thank you. You are all heroes that deserve capes of gold to match your hearts. To those who have filled in for me personally, you have no idea how much of a difference you made in my life. So today we celebrate fathers everywhere, but I also say Happy Hero Day to those of you who chose to be fathers to those of us that are without one of our own today.