Father’s Day, 2022

But no matter what’s said, there’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, American novelist

For those of us who’ve lost our dads, Father’s Day becomes “just another day.”

No special meal with your happy family gathered around the table. No decorated cake or grilled burgers. No Hallmark cards. No gifts of goofy ties, men’s cologne, or hand tools.

Just another day.

I suppose everyone who loses a father thinks it happened too soon.

Wishes we hadn’t been robbed of time that others can still enjoy.

And in our minds, we only envision happy times with Dad. Peaceful times. Loving times. Supportive times.

We refuse to admit that sometimes, we had differences of opinion. Squabbles and even angry words.

No relationships are perfect.

Perhaps the hardest thing about losing your dad is missing the person your dad was. Missing his smile, the lessons he imparted even without consciously trying, the pride in his eyes at your successes.

The very first poem I ever wrote — way back before I ever thought of myself as a writer, way back around the time I was 10 or so — was a rhyme I wrote about my dad.

When I shyly showed it to him, he was enthusiastic in his praise — something every writer craves.

And often, from then on, when asked what he wanted as a gift for a birthday, Christmas, or other occasion, he requested a poem. Or a letter. Something personal, he’d say. Something only I could write.

Daddy passed before my debut novel was published, but I can’t help feeling he’d have been real proud to hold a copy in his hands.

And to know that in some way, he’d given his daughter the courage to chase the star he insisted was out there shining just for me.

Note: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Remember, you might think what you do isn’t significant, but trust me, it is. Molding future generations is critical for our human race to survive.

24 thoughts on “Father’s Day, 2022

  1. “And to know that in some way, he’d given his daughter the courage to chase the star he insisted was out there shining just for me.”

    Debbie, what a touching tribute to Father’s Day and your Daddy!

    And yes, my friend, he would have been most proud to hold a copy of your debut novel in his hands. I believe that although someone has passed on, they are still very much involved in our lives. Particularly, our parents. They see what we do, and can not only communicate with us, but also celebrate our accomplishments. So although your father might not be here in body, I believe he’s always there with you in spirit.

    I will never forget a time when I was performing in play, and at one particularly moment during a scene when I had no dialogue, I could actually feel the presence of my father. And the feeling was so strong that it startled me. I could feel/hear him say to me, “I’m here with you, Ron.”

    Again, beautiful tribute, Debbie. And thanks so much for sharing.

    Have an awesome Sunday! X

    • Aw, thank you, Ron. *blushing* I love the story about your dad being so close at hand during your theater performance. He must have been so proud to know you were doing something you loved!

      I totally agree with you, my friend. I do believe the veil between this world and the next is quite thin. And while we might not see the physical bodies of those who’ve crossed over, I do believe — if we’re attuned to them — we can feel their presence. And that can be most comforting, especially on days when we need them around!

      Enjoy the HOT week ahead! xx

    • Oh, Dawn, we certainly were blessed! Yes, we’d have liked keeping our dads here longer, but what wonderful lessons they taught us while they were here.

    • Indeed they do, Eliza. I wish he could’ve stayed here longer, but not when he was in such obvious misery. I’m blessed to have had him as my dad!

    • Unless maybe the love of one’s mother? Or possibly that special someone? Or even the unconditional love of a loyal dog? Just messing with you, ma’am — I understand your thoughts!

  2. Nice memories, Debbie. My dad died when I was just 24, but I still think about him and wonder what he would say about things I’m doing or events in the world. I am my father’s daughter, both in looks and temperament!

    • I wonder if losing a father is harder when you’re so much like him in looks and temperament? I’m that way, too, and I think I grieve over him more than my sis, who takes after my mom’s people. Hmm, maybe it’s impossible to say. Anyway, FF, I’m sorry you lost your dad so early — the 20s are so change-filled that having a secure anchor like a dad means everything.

  3. What’s a little odd is that I feel as though I’ve come to know my dad even better over the years since he died. I can see more of his qualities in my own life, and I’m certainly glad for that. While my mother was all about shaping me into the prototypical female, dad was all about curiosity, exploration, interaction with the world, and the pleasures of word play. We’d sit at the dinner table and banter like crazy.

    He’s been gone for forty years now, and I miss him more every year. There’s so much that he’d enjoy about my life now — I wish he was here to share it.

    • Linda, I get it, and isn’t it wonderful when a trait we so admired in dad shows up in us, too?!! Here, Daddy was the questioner — piquing our curiosity about so many interesting things, inspiring us to stretch just a little bit farther, and making our world a happier place. I guess it fell to my mom to provide the roots while he offered us wings. And, like you, I think Daddy would’ve loved seeing how the spark he ignited is now developing!

  4. What a lovely tribute to your father and the gift of courage he gave to you. I still miss having my dad around to bounce ideas off of, I miss all the wisdom and discoveries he shared with me…

    • It’s so hard losing a parent, isn’t it? I’m fortunate to still have my mom, though I’m realistic in that she’ll never be a substitute for my dad. They each brought their own strengths to our family and without one of them around, it’s like a table rocking along on three legs instead of four!

  5. It is sad that your father passed before your book was published, but I bet he knows that his encouragement helped launch your writing career. You’re right that all relationships are complicated, but I think it’s okay to remember mostly the good times and the good things that our fathers taught us. I know people who constantly dwell on everything their parents did wrong, and they aren’t happy people.
    I’m sorry I didn’t see this post until today, but it is one of the nicest Father’s Day posts I’ve ever read!

    • Aw, gee, thanks! That’s a really nice thing to say, Ann, and I’m glad it resonated with you. You’re absolutely right: fixating on the bad stuff that happened in the past only makes for a miserable present.

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