Another Bittersweet Father’s Day

Sunday marks my third Father’s Day without my dad, and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t get any easier. Time doesn’t heal all wounds.

My dad passed quietly on the very last day of the year in 2008 after a three-year battle with cancer.

His doctor said he smoked too much, though he’d quit decades before; drank too much, though he’d quit that, too, years before his diagnosis and the start of chemo and radiation.

Other “experts” would say Daddy didn’t eat right (he had a sweet tooth, okay, but nobody should have to die for that!), and he didn’t exercise enough (though he practically lived on the tennis courts when we kids were growing up).

But yes, he passed too soon.

He never got the opportunity to see his last grandchild (my son) graduate from high school; never got to see his other grand-kids graduate from college; never got to see his wife re-learn to drive or handle the finances; never got to see the new landscaping around the house.

Daddy and Mama on their Wedding Day

He left before I could soak up his knowledge of running a business and apply it to my own. Before I could ask him to beta-read my novel and see if it’s publication-worthy. Before I could ask his advice about so many things.

I won’t be picking out a Father’s Day card for him this year nor will I plan a special outing. I won’t be grilling or fishing or playing board games or a thousand and one other things Daddy would have enjoyed doing.

But neither will I sit around mourning. Daddy wouldn’t have wanted it.

He loved to laugh and tell jokes and stories; he loved to see his family happy and healthy and active.

He didn’t particularly like tears, especially on the faces of his wife and daughters.

So while a big part of me weeps, the greater part of me rejoices. Daddy no longer lives here; he’s been “promoted” to a new and better place.

A place where there’s no more sadness. No more tears. No more pain. No more heartache.

I’m confident I’ll see him again, too. And this time, I won’t roll my eyes and say I’ve “heard that story before.” I’ll listen to his soft Southern drawl, savoring every word, every moment, and I’ll look into his blue eyes and remind him how proud I am of him and how very much I love him.

Love you and miss you, Daddy.