Fathers Day without Dad
For most, Father's Day is a day of celebration, a day filled with family fun and honoring Dad. Fishing trips, homemade cards, and Bar-B-Que's. Making his favorite breakfast and delivering it to his bedside announcing "Happy Father's Day, Dad!".
However, for many children Father's Day can be a painful reminder of loss. Each year, thousands of children under the age of eighteen lose their fathers. Their lives become a turmoil of emotions and confusion. My children are part of that statistic now.
I've been dreading this holiday for the passed month, since Mother's Day. When I asked a very wise friend what I should do, this friend said to me simply, you celebrate. He is still their father, they have wonderful memories and stories to share. They can still honor him. It doesn't have to be a dreaded, tear-filled day, make it the day to celebrate his life.
How right you are my friend!
But the question still gnawed at me, How do we do that exactly? If we were to make it his day, as it should be, what would he want?
- He would want us to be together, the six of us.
- He would want us to laugh, to smile, to talk about the good times.
- He would want good food.
- He would want relaxation.
- He would want fun.
- He would want us to be happy!
And yet, the question is still there, How do we do that exactly? When I've asked the children what they would like to do for Father's Day, they do not have an answer either.
I have made home movies since our oldest was a baby. We can order a pizza, unplug the phones and computers, all lay in our Cal King bed and watch every one of them. We'll smile, we'll remember, we'll hear his wonderful laugh again and we'll be happy.
I think, I hope, that each of the kids will like this idea. We will talk about him and what each one admired about him, loved about him or thought was a special moment. It will open a new door of healing for us.
Our youngest daughter wrote him a poem last week, an amazingly beautiful poem! She asked me if she could take it to the cemetary and put it there for him. I tried not to cry at the innocent beauty of that desire. Of course we can, Dad would love that. She asked if we could get a box to put there so that anytime we wanted to write things or make him pictures we could put them in that box for him. What a wonderful idea! Dad would love that, sweetheart.
Though, I don't know how each of my children will feel about visiting his grave, I will let each one decide. They can write their own letters, poems, songs or make a picture. Honor him in their own way, privately.
So my question has been answered, I think he would feel honored and loved and celebrated. I think my children will be happy with our new tradition, thus I will be happy.
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