It is difficult shopping for Fathers’ Day cards when Dad is no longer with us. I stay in the section dedicated to husbands and sons, and I do not tarry looking at cards for Dads.
It’s been eleven years since he has been gone, and it does not hurt as much when I think of him, but that does not mean I do not miss him. I wish he were here to meet HoneyBunch and to enjoy my grandkids, his great-grandbabies. He would have loved them all.
I was one of the blessed ones, those who had a great father and who the holiday celebrates. He had his quirks and he wasn’t perfect, but he was kind and protective and a great provider. He was funny and gentlemanly, and he was as intelligent as he was handsome, but he preferred to be known for being a dad. We meant the world to him and we always knew it. We were his legacy.
I shared him with two other sisters and three brothers. My sisters and I joke that each one of us was his favorite. We say that because he had the knack of making us each feel special, the loves of his life.
As I chose cards for my husband and my sons for Fathers’ Day, I realize not every father deserves a card or to be honored next Sunday. There are those who, unlike my Dad or my husband or my sons and my son-in-law, do not deserve the title. Instead of kind and protective, they are cruel. Instead of good providers, they shirk their responsibility. Instead of loving their children and guiding them through this world, they think of themselves first.
My father said those men did not deserve to be called men, much less “fathers.” He said a real man would face his responsibilities and protect his family. A real father would think of his family first and would set a good example for his children. To deserve his children’s respect would be foremost in his mind.
I wish all good fathers a wonderful day next Sunday. I am blessed to have had a wonderful dad and he would be pleased to know that his legacy lives on through my children and their families, and I see the same integrity in my grandchildren.