Just like last year, I’m in a dilemma about what to post for Father’s Day. Maybe I should just post a bird photo and ignore the whole thing, I considered. Then I thought maybe I should write a “What I’m not getting you for Father’s Day this year,” post that lists all the things I used to be able to buy for my dad but can’t any more: fishing poles, wood tools, a book about WWII, gift cards to Panera . . .a tie. That would be depressing. Instead I found my post from last year, and I’m reposting it. This is a first for me, but I think it still applies.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Over the past three days I’ve tried to write this post for you, Dad.
I wanted it to be a happy tribute to you where I talked about all the things you’ve done for me over the years. Like the time when you took me sledding at Mote Park and halfway down the hill I heard you yelling my name and turned to see you running down the hill behind me. A much larger boy was on a collision course with me, and you were yelling for me to roll off the sled. I can’t remember how that all ended. I only remember you trying to save me and that I didn’t get hurt.
I started looking through old family photographs, thinking maybe I could do a photo collage of you for this Father’s Day post. But what I found were photo after photo of me and my sisters and brother and only a very few photos of you. Mostly they were of you holding Annie for her photo.
Why didn’t you have someone take more pictures of you, Dad? I’d like to ask you that.
You were always behind the camera looking at us. I do the same thing. I take most of the photos. When one of the kids complains that I’m not in many, I just say, “I’m in them all. I’m looking at you.”
I love this picture Carol took of you when she was in high school and taking a photography class using the 35mm camera you carried through Europe. This is how I remember you most.
Did I ever tell you how proud I am of you and the successful man you made of yourself from your rocky beginnings? Do you know that’s how I feel about you?
Do you know how much I value your home-grown, down-to-earth wisdom?
I know it always bothered you that you never went to college, but I don’t care at all. I’ll always consider you one of the smartest men I’ve ever known.
Do you know that?
What do you think about what you’re going through now with Alzheimer’s?
There are so many questions I’d like to ask you.
But I don’t want to talk about that now. I don’t want to talk about what we’ve lost. I want to talk about what we have.
For today I just want to say how proud I am of, and how much I love the man you were . . .are. The man you are.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Here’s to you, looking at me.
I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day:
If you are a father, I hope you will be the best father you can be.
If your father was not the best man he could have been, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive.
If your father is still with you on this earth, I hope that you will cherish every moment.
If your father is no longer here, I hope you will find comfort and peace in your memories.