Sunday, 19 June 2016

Father's Day


On Father's Day we celebrate and appreciate one of the most important men in our lives. The men that were there at the very beginning, and are there until the very end. The men whose name was our first word, who saw us off on our first day at school, and who, one day, may walk us down the aisle. The men that are parents, and friends, and grandparents. The men who, even when they make us angry, when we dislike them, we always love them. But Father's Day is also about celebrating the dads we had, and lost, or the ones we never knew at all. The dads who would still be here if they could, and who never had the chance to do all those 'dad' things. The dads that are with us every day, even if they're not right here next to us. The dads we think about all the time, we miss, and we wish could come back. The dads we try to make proud, hoping that they would be if they were here right now. 

I've had eighteen Father's Days without my dad, and I can't remember one with him, but it's not on Father's Day that I miss him most. This morning I walked through Marks & Spencer, looking at all the 'get ready for Father's Day' signs and posters; I looked at the cards which all had jokes about golf and beer; and none of it meant anything. I don't want my dad back so I can say thanks for being a great dad with a novelty pair of cufflinks, or a t-shirt, or a cringey card, I want my dad back so he can be at my graduation, congratulate me on getting my first job, and teach me how to put up a shelf in my first house (because I definitely do not know how). I want him back for a hug, a well done, a smile on a rubbish day. I want him to tell me that he doesn't like what I'm wearing, and worry when I go away, and meet my boyfriend. I want the good stuff and the bad stuff. I want to love him, and hate him, all at once. I just don't want to miss him. I want the dad stuff. 

But. When I feel like this I remember the five years I did have him for. I remember that it's longer than lots of other people have their dads. I remember that I was lucky to have him, if only for a short time. I remember that he didn't want to go as much as we didn't want him to, and that he would be here if he could. I remember that he didn't leave, and he isn't lost, and that I'll always have him somewhere. I remember that he bought me chicken dippers in my room when I was sent there by my mum, and he stroked my hair and told me not to cry. I remember that he wore shorts a lot, and I remember him being really, really tall. I remember him at Christmas. I remember him in the garden. I remember that he used to take me to the dump. And I remember the last time I saw him, and I try not to let it cloud the memory of all the times when he was happier, and healthier, and he wasn't going anywhere. I try to keep remembering it all, remembering now so I remember forever. 

Happy Father's Day to the dads that are here, and the dads who are not. 
The dads we love, we miss, and we'd do anything for. 
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