My father is the best man that I have ever known.
Today’s Father’s Day, and it’s a yearly reminder of how amazing he was and how much I miss him. My mother and I will be visiting him at the cemetery later today.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss my dad. So today is especially difficult.
Although I always cry on Father’s Day, I don’t want this to be a pity party. I want to take this opportunity to share with the world a glimpse into a moment I shared with my dad.
Note: The photo above is a picture of my dad when he was in his 30s.
I remember that when I was maybe 9 or 10, my dad and I went to the park. It was the summer, and the weather was perfect – sunny and warm with a slight breeze. We sat on a bench, and I was enjoying a Popsicle. There was a large tree in front of us, and the wind was making the thousands of leaves rustle like they were doing a melodic dance.
Life, as I knew it, was blissful.
My dad turned to me and said something like, “Years from now, when you’re older, you’ll remember this moment that you spent with your dad. You’ll remember that we were looking at that tree on a summer day, and you were eating an orange Popsicle.”
When I was in my twenties, I told my dad that I always remembered that moment and what he said. He was surprised and clearly happy!
Now that I’m in my thirties, I still remember that moment as clear as day. Although it’s nothing outrageous, it’s one of the many memories that I often replay in my mind to make myself smile.
He was right. (Haha, he used to always semi-joke that “Fathers know best!”)
Although it was nothing extraordinary, that’s one of the memories with my dad that I cherish like a prized possession. I was so young and carefree. And life was good.
The vast majority of my friends still have their fathers, and I’ll admit that I’m jealous. Whenever I see a father and child together in public, I feel a lump in my throat when I try to swallow. They are so fortunate, and it makes me miss my dad even more.
Some guys in my life share small similarities with my dad, such as merely liking the same music from the 50s and 60s. But my father was more than just the things he liked. The unconditional love that he showed me through the years, his ability to find humour in even the darkest situations, and his comforting presence are simply unparalleled.
To this day, I have never met any man who is even remotely on par with my dad. And it makes me appreciate what I had even more. Not everyone is as blessed to have experienced such a loving father. Some people have terrible childhoods full of pain. I thank God that my childhood was extremely happy. My parents had a way of always making me feel loved, wanted, and content, even though they had lots of financial troubles, and I never had all the toys or cool clothes that I wanted. When I look back, I’m really impressed and amazed at how my parents were able to ‘make it work’.
I thank God that I still have my mother. She is strong-minded, whip-smart, and open to learning new things. She is everything that I hope to emulate, and I am proud to be her daughter. She has taught me how to be strong, and she has taught me that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Plus she is always on my side when life takes a nasty turn. I am very blessed to have such a role model in my life.
While my parents’ marriage wasn’t always smooth, what I do remember is that they were always there for each other. Despite obstacles that always seemed to be in their way, they persevered. That really inspires me, especially when there are so many families that are ‘broken’. (I dislike using that expression because it’s so negative.)
When I was growing up, nearly all my friends came from families where the parents were divorced, remarrying, or dating new people. My parents were one of the few ones who were still together, and our family was considered to be a ‘nuclear family’ – a rarity. One day, if I ever get married, I hope that I’m as fortunate!
Going back to my dad, he taught me that there ARE men out there who are honest, loving, and forgiving. He taught me that I shouldn’t settle for guys who treat me badly, abuse me, or play mind games.
My father gave me the prime example of how life should be lived. He didn’t just talk the talk. He walked the walk. Even if it was a tightrope, he walked the walk.
I hope to become such an impressive tightrope walker.