When you lose a parent, the first year is full of firsts and they are so hard. First birthday, first Christmas, first Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, and more. There is a hole in your world on each of those days and every other day of the year.
As time goes on and years pass, it feels different. A day like Father’s Day is to celebrate and honor your dad. I was lucky in that I had a wonderful relationship with my dad, many do not. There is a huge hole in our lives where my dad should be, even seven years later.
I miss my dad every single day. I never needed a single day in the year to celebrate the man that he was, I knew it every day and I was proud to call him daddy.
So on this seventh Father’s Day what am I feeling?
I think about the family he raised, the adults we’ve become, and how he would still (and I’m sure still is) be proud.
I think about my two brothers who are both wonderful fathers to their children. They both are caring, strong, and are raising their own with our dad’s memory in mind. I know this because I see it in how they love their children. They are both “family men” just like our dad was.
I think about all the memories I have of my dad. I have 38 years of memories to last a lifetime. I have endless stories to share and carry on. My dad’s legacy will never go away because I keep it alive every single day.
I think about the month he spent in the hospital before he passed and about his final day. Making decisions that a family should never have to make but we did out of love and a strength we didn’t realize we had at the time. I think about him passing with all of us around his bedside and how we made sure he didn’t go alone. He went knowing we were there and there was never any doubt of the amount of love in that room.
I think about the strength of my mom as she cared for my dad for 43 years. He lived the life he had because of her.
So on this seventh Father’s Day without my dad here, I think about how lucky I am to have had him in my life for 38 years. To have a hero. To call him Daddy and know that he loved us unconditionally. That he was able to “walk” me down the aisle at our wedding and he knew and loved Mike. That I am who I am because of him. My determination and stubbornness came from him and it’s both wonderful and hard to handle all at the same time.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. You are missed and loved every single day by your family. That will never change.