As if graduation week for Tyler wasn’t emotional enough, it had to fall on Fathers Day weekend. It all started in the nail salon. Treating myself to a graduation mani/pedi, I sat back in the magic fingers chair with my skinny vanilla iced latte (after my Starbucks pastry case disaster, I changed my drink), and picked up a random magazine. The first article I read was a letter from a Dad to a graduate. Why do all these emotional moments have to happen in public? I can only imagine what the nail technicians were saying about me in their native tongue; like a scene from some Seinfeld episode. It Probably translated something like this…”Crazy crying lady always crying in my chair.” “Yea, I think I saw her crying in the book store the other day too.” Anyway, it was the sweetest letter written by a Dad to his daughter. He was telling her how amazing she was and how hard it was to know that she was now her own person who wouldn’t really need him any more. Wrong!. We always need our Dads. When my dad died some 21 years ago, I was overwhelmed with the thought, “Who will take care of me now?” I was a grown women and married, but nothing could replace the security of my father’s love. I miss him today on this Father’s Day as much as I did the day he died. Even more, now that I am alone in my responsibilities. What I would give to have him pull me to his side and tell me he is there for me. I can’t imagine the comfort I would experience if he were here to tell me he believes in me and knows I can handle what has come my way. I would cross the oceans to hear him say I love you, and make me laugh with one of his sarcastic quips. The loss of my Dad is still very real. And now, I watch my boys experience a different kind of loss of a Father. We need our Fathers. We need them to protect, provide and nourish (stolen from Max Lucado, but exactly what I wanted to say) If our Father’s have done that, they are forever respected, cherished and desperately missed when they are gone. If they fell short, we are forever affected. I hate that Father’s Day is forever changed for my boys. It will always bring a plethora (I always wanted an opportunity to use that word) of emotions. There will always be some measure of grief for them on this holiday.
I pray every son or daughter could have the kind of Father I have seen in my friend. His love for his daughter is huge. I have never seen anyone fight for something as hard as he has fought for their relationship. I have never seen a Dad put so much into growing his relationship with his daughter and making every moment count. Maybe because it was almost lost. The rest of us take our daily lives with our kids for granted. He literally cherishes every minute he has with her. One day she is going to wake up and be overwhelmed with the thought..”No one has ever loved me like my Dad. No one has ever fought for me like my Dad. I can always count on my Dad.” She doesn’t know it yet, but he is giving her one of the greatest gifts she could ever receive….the security, safety, and unconditional love of a father.
So what do I tell my boys this Father’s Day? I am going to tell them to dwell on what we have, and not on what we don’t have. I am going to tell them that God is the only perfect father, and He is a father to the fatherless. And, I am going to tell them that it is OK to be sad, because we all need the love and security of a Father.
• “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” — Sigmund Freud