Monday Musings: Father’s Day

I’m writing this on Sunday, which is Father’s Day here in the USA. It’s the day we set aside to honor the fathers in our lives, and to thank them for all they have done, and do, for us. It’s a bittersweet day for me, and more especially this year.

My Dad died in 2012. I still miss him. There are so many things I remember and will always remember. He taught all of us so much, even if it took time for us to truly appreciate those things. Sunday rides in the car, singing show tunes and standards and silly songs. Running and playing while he hit a bucket of golf balls at the driving range. Ice cream on a hot summer evening. Myself and all my brothers and sisters are the people we are today because of what he and Mom did for us and with us while we were growing up. Thanks, Dad. Wish I could say that in person.

And then there was the news we got that a friend and fellow chili cook passed away on Saturday. He leaves two grown children from a previous marriage, and his current wife and their two young children. He was far too young to be gone now. They didn’t live close, so we didn’t see them a lot, but they are good people, and my heart aches for them. He was opinionated, sometimes loud, sometimes a bit angry, but he was also honest, strong in spirit, and had a wonderfully skewed sense of humor. He was also a talented photographer and a pretty decent chili cook.

But there’s another side to this day, also. There’s the BaldMan, who has helped me raise three amazing daughters. There’s his father, who taught him as much as mine taught me. (Luckily, he did NOT inherit his father’s lack of love for onions and garlic!) And our two sons-in-law, Kleber and John, who have added to our family in so many ways- and not just because of the grandchildren. Those are the reasons to celebrate today. The reasons to be happy and hopeful and content. Thanks and love to them all for being here.

So, celebrate your Dad. Even if you may have differences, even if your relationship is less than perfect. Call him. Make him breakfast or dinner, or take him out for one of those if you prefer. Write him a letter to go with that card, if he’s at a distance and you can’t be there. If he’s not with you anymore, raise a glass of whatever you prefer in salute. Dad’s are special, unique people. Make sure yours knows that.

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