This Father’s Day is extra special. It wasn’t supposed to happen. My father wasn’t supposed to have lived to see another Father’s Day, but he’s still here. Today, at 3:00, my sisters and I will go visit with him, and take a stroll down Memory Lane. In about two weeks he will celebrate his 82nd birthday. His doctor told him he may not make it, but Daddy says he will. I’m betting on Daddy. He is the most determined, strong-willed person I know. We’ve said the song that suits him best is Frank Sinatra’s “My Way“. There was no other way.
I love my father deeply and unconditionally. My childhood seemed perfect. It wasn’t until I began college that I realized things may not have been as they seemed on the surface. He has lived his life “his way”, and made choices that suited him best, regardless of the resulting ripple effect on loved ones. There has been a lot of hurt over the years because of these choices (the makings of a great Southern novel), but I have to say, regardless of the choices he made for himself, he loves his children “supremely” (his words). He has always been available to me with words of advice, support, encouragement, hugs and kisses, and always, a sincere “I love you”. Not everyone gets that from their father for a lifetime. I have. That is what I am going to choose to remember when he is finally gone. The past will be the past, bittersweet as it may be. I can be angry and wish things had been different, but that will only make me older faster, bitter in my own relationships, and someone no one will want to be around because of the negativity. I CHOOSE to latch onto the positive, because God knows this story is loaded with negative. I hope I have learned some lessons from him. What to do and what not to do. Maybe these lessons can help me become a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.
I hope you have good, positive memories of your father that you can recall today. If not your own father, then a strong father figure in your life. Latch on to those positive moments, no matter how small or how few. Let them steer you toward finding the best parts of yourself, so that the positive cycle of behavior continues rather than any negative. Let’s all strive to leave positive ripples in our wake.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you, now and always. This one’s for you..