|It's Father's Day in America!
I get up and look around and wonder how to spend this day. Father's Day. I should do something. Maybe I will call all of the fathers that I know and wish each one of them a happy and wonderful father's day. Not now. I will think about that and maybe call them later.
Let's see what everyone else is saying on Facebook about Father's Day. Maybe that will inspire me and I will know what to say when I call everybody and wish them a happy Father's Day. Not much on Facebook. Maybe everyone else is as depressed about this day as I am. Depressed? Am I really depressed about this day? I couldn't be depressed about this day or could I.
Oh my gosh! There are feelings hiding out inside of me about this day. Who knew? I really don't like father's day. When did that occur? Have I been faking it all of these years? I must have been faking it or did I know I felt like this and just pretended I was happy all those 50 father's days in my past.
Okay. Let's really delve into this dichotomy. I did not spend any Father's Days with my father that I can remember, and I don't remember celebrating father's day when I was growing up and living in the house with my grandfather who until this very day I do not like very much. I believe I was happy when I was married and celebrated father's day with my husband whom I loved dearly. But, was I really happy celebrating Father's Day with him?
My recollection was that he wasn't very thankful for my efforts for him on behalf of our children to show him love and appreciation. Even though we were married for twelve years, I don't believe we celebrated more than seven Father's Days together because he rolled out before my oldest daughter turned eight, and never looked back.
I believe that somehow, this helped to seal my fate on what Father's Day means to me in America. Not very much. I know that my feelings are tied up into what I think this day should mean, but it is also my reality of what it has meant to me over the years. Not very much.
So here I am today, sitting home alone on this Father's Day. My father has been dead for more than 20 years. He was not much of a father a live and he is absolutely no father at all now that he is dead. My grandfather, who could have been a father chose to not be a father, but instead a tyrant who actually betted with my first grade teacher that I would never finish high school.
Yet, I have known, and currently know some great and wonderful fathers. My son for an example is a great and wonderful father. His children love and adore him. I believe my son has become the father that he always wanted his father to be to him. He works every day. He has come home from work and changed diapers, cooked meals, gone to PTA meetings, held discussions with teachers, and watched TV and read night time stories to his children. He has sat up all night watching them sleep when they were not well. He has been there for them when they needed him, and he has loved every minute of it.
Then there is Uncle Bill. Uncle Bill could never have children with the woman he loved who already had a child, and so he took him into his heart and loved him as if he was his own. He also agreed with his love to adopt a child that he raised as if it was also his own. When his adopted child learned that he was not her biological father, he begged her to forgive him for not telling her, and asked if she would still let him be a part of his life. When he died, he left her all of his worldly possessions, but also all of his love!
I also have seen how vastly different fathers are and how they treated their children, both biological and non-biological. Some embrace and some reject. Those that reject bring into the home hostility, animosity, and distrust. Friction is caused, and the children learn those things. Some overcome them, but others embraced them and see themselves through those eyes. Father's like mothers have a role and a responsibility when raising a child.
Although as children we are able to laugh off many of our feelings or hide them so they couldn't hurt us, those feelings stay with us and grow. I know because those are the feelings I am having this Father's Day. Feelings of being different, left out, alone, and not feeling very special. Sometimes, I wonder why we make or set aside some of these "special" days when all they do is make so many of us feel left out. Then we wonder why so many people don't celebrate them or even go so far as to disagree with others about celebrating them.
Clearly FAMILY is important. Mother, father, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. all play a part in helping us become the people we are or will be in the future. Family is so important that certain days have been set aside to honor a few of them, and this is one of those days. So, today, even with my Father's Day blues, I honor all of those MALES out there that are "true" fathers whether they provided the sperm to make the child or took on that role because they saw the need and stepped up to the plate.
I also know that many MOTHERS have been fathers to their children because the sperm donor rolled out, and stayed out or only showed up on special occasions! So, to those mothers who stayed the course, and raised the children and went to basketball, football, soccer, and boy scout and everything else that helped a son realize his dreams, and did girl scouts and dance classes and piano lesson and everything else to show their daughters that they were special while working 60 or more hours a week to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table and shoes on their feet and clothes on their backs, and throwing in a movie or two and paying for graduations and proms and on and on and on -- this day of celebration is also for you! You have earned the right to be celebrated today along with those MALE dads, and I honor you for all that you did and do alone every day for your family without a MALE dad!
Father's Day, Mother's Day, Grandparents' Day, just to name a few, may make some of us very happy while making others feel so blue. Many don't feel blue for the reasons I do, but a lot of them do. I can recall enjoying and loving Mother's Day, and wondering what to get my Mother, but then she died, and my joy of that day died too. But that joy on Mother's Day, was nothing like the sadness I am experiencing today on this Father's Day.
So, where does that leave me on this Father's Day? A little down, but not out because even with my bad feelings, I know and have known some fathers and mothers who deserve to be treated special not just today, but every day.
It's Father's Day in America, and I wish you a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY too!