My husband is currently the same age my father was at the time of his death. I’m floored by that realization because it’s a subtle reminder to me of just how young my father was when he passed. I cannot imagine my husband not being here now to share in this life we’ve made so beautifully together. It’s not something I want to ever have to endure as it would break the hearts of both me and our children irreparably.
As many of you who read this blog already know, I am the product of a single-parent household. My father was present in our lives, but he didn’t live with us, eat, with us, share holidays, or participate in the ideal way many of us imagine fathers should. He had far too many demons to escape and those demons made it difficult for him to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
By the time he died it was clear to most of us that his illness was something that he could mentally and physically never overcome without the support and presence of something more powerful in his life. The battle was his, but he didn’t have the strength to fight it, and in the end it was all of us who bore the pain of his struggle.
So, as this Father’s Day weekend approaches, I feel a bit of sadness at the fact that I cannot call or see my father, but blessed in the knowledge that I have a man in my life who is both a wonderful father and husband. It’s a bittersweet trade-off to be certain, but I understand the deeper meaning hidden behind it all and feel fortunate that I was able to accept this gift no matter the circumstances wrapped around the box.
Each of us have a father and a mother. It’s the common thread that binds us all. Whether those parents are good or not, we each have a story woven within us that will become the foundation of who we are. Acknowledge it or don’t, but the experience you have of either growing up with or without the presence of your father has been one of the driving forces for everything you have done to this point in life.
I know, without question, that the absence of my father is the reason it was so important for me to find a man who was the very opposite of his bad, but the very embodiment of all his good. I found a few duds along the way, but in the end I was delivered a man with whom my life could feel complete and favored beyond my wildest dreams.
That said I still feel an incredible amount of empathy for my younger brother who never had the opportunity to know our father, develop his own opinion of the kind of man he was, nor have the chance to see and remember him for both the good and the bad parts of who he was to many of us. It’s a relationship that never had the chance to be created and I feel the sadness as deeply for my father as I do for my brother because he missed out on a little boy who became one very handsome, well-educated, talented, and most importantly, good young man.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you as you reminisce, celebrate, and continue to understand the men who make, love, and become the fabric by which all of us are clothed.