The one day I have been dreading since the day my dad died. A blaring reminder of something I no longer have. A father. The thing is, last father’s day, when dad was alive, I wasn’t even speaking to him. He had returned to the hurtful and powerful lifestyle of drinking to the point of unrecognition. For the last 6 years I had given pretty strict ultimatums about his contact with me. Not my love, my contact. My love, no matter how damaged or hurting, never wavered from my dad. So I have to work really hard to even think about the last father’s day I spent with mine. A junior in college. 4 years ago. Never in a billion years would I expect that would be our last father’s day together. It was so joyful. We went to the hottest baseball game in the world and ended up grilling at home and letting my five year old brother wear a dress just to get a funny reaction out of dad. It’s so strange how memories work.
My dad loved so big, so deep, and so far.
He loved my friends. From knowing their favorite foods to fixing their cars. All of my friends felt more than comfortable calling my dad if they were in a bind. His chatter never ceased to give them a plethora of knowledge and laughter.
He loved the kids in the nursery. Often we would have to force him to NOT work in the nursery because he would rather do that than any other role. Even when he was not on the list, many parents would ask for him if their kid didn’t want to stay.
He loved his daughters. Painting our nails, spending money on camps, coaching every sport ever.
He loved his son. No one could have ever doubted that. Trey was his biggest joy.
This year I work hard to know that others are able to celebrate their fathers in my presence. I do not ever want anyone to feel uncomfortable sharing about the love they have for their dads. However, the mask is thick. Thick around my heart and my face. Because smiling is easier than crying and letting others experience joy is greater than spreading my hurt.
But know this, as this Hallmark holiday envelopes us, that it isn’t just me that feels a deep hurt. It is those who have lost their dear fathers, those who are estranged from their fathers, those who only call their fathers on this one day, those who never knew their fathers, and those who wish more than anything that someone would run up to them and call them “dad”.
We fit into more than one of those categories.
On this day that I grieve my dad and the hurt of missing him. There is another and even fresher reason I grieve. I grieve for my sweet husband and another Father’s Day passing without holding a baby of his own.
My sweet husband has held many titles and has many wonderful characteristics. But the one we are waiting and waiting for is Father.
Ever since Christopher was a child he would tell people that when he grew up he wanted to be a dad. Do you know how special that is? A full time nanny found a husband whose biggest dream is to have a family! If you have ever seen him work in the nursery, play with my nanny kids, or interact at school; you know this isn’t a joke. He thrives around children.
However, we are a statistic that I never dreamed would reach us. We are just one of over 6 million families in the U.S. who are struggling to start a family. Millions of men are waiting for their first Father’s Day. We aren’t alone.
If you have your father on this earth take a moment to hug his neck, have a meaningful conversation, or pray for him. If you are in one of the above groups of humans who are grieving on this day, know you are being prayed for fervently. And as Father’s Day comes and goes, and the hurt continues, know even then, the creator who created Fathers and is our heavenly Father is still holding you.
My prayer this year is that every son, daughter, father, and husband that is hurting would feel joy. Real joy that surpasses our understanding. That we would be allowed to grieve and remember and yern. Prayers for peace and for comfort. Because our Heavenly Father is big enough.