For me, it’s a reminder that I'm a parent raising children without my wife.
For others, it’s a symbol that their children’s father is gone.
For those without kids, it’s a reflection on what isn’t or what will now never be.
For all of us, it’s a trigger that reminds us of our situation, another day that is awkward as it puts us out of place for a 24 hour period, another day where we don’t want to face questions from our kids or conversations with our relatives and friends, another day where people will tell me all day long to have a “Happy Father’s Day”. A wish where I would love to respond, “It’s really not that happy for me as it’s not the same since my wife died.” But knowing that response would draw a, “Look, dude, I’m just reading off the cue cards here. The calendar is telling me today is a happy day for the fathers. I really don’t have any interest in your true happiness, so just say ‘Thanks’, collect your change and leave my store.”
The past few years I’ve been able to let the day fly under the radar without acknowledging too much my “special” day. But now my kids are getting older and they too are able to read calendars and the calendar today is telling them today is my day to be happy – whether I want to be or not.
Okay. Maybe I’m not ready to be happy today, but I am grateful. I have beautiful daughters who are excited for me and want something good for me. In their world, it’s as simple as, “Today is your day dad, so you must have been waiting for this for awhile.”
Happy Father’s Day? Don’t think I’m there yet. Proud Father’s Day? I’m all in.