Father's Day without Dad

I lost my Dad back in March, celebrating first father's day without him.

Today is father’s day. Everyone else is celebrating the day with their Dad’s going out to breakfast or having bbq’s but not you. Most everyone has run out to get Dad that perfect Hallmark card that depicts their relationship with Dad. The last thing on your mind is celebrating the person who occupies all of your time already. There isn’t a Hallmark card that represents your relation with Dad, now. If there was, what would it say – “Dear Dad, Thanks for getting old and taking up the best years of my life.” Pretty blunt, but tell me this isn’t what you are thinking.

But lets step into Dad’s slippers for a moment. Do you really think that this is how they pictured their life? Being held captive in a vessel – a body, that does not respond the way it used to. It is were an old car that didn’t run, kept breaking down, had engine leaks, rust, wouldn’t pass inspection, you’d get rid of it and buy a new one. Unfortunately, we cannot do this with our bodies so we are stuck with them.

Dad (and or Mom) never really go into detail about what they are thinking or feeling at this stage in their life. All we see is an older parent with problems now. But what we tend to forget is that our parents are people too. In their mind and heart, they still feel 16, 21 or 29-whatever that “feel great age” was for them; but their body is somehow foreign to them now. It does not move the way it used to. It is in pain all of the time. The reason that your parent is so grouchy, agitated or angry is not at you, it is at this strange vessel they now occupy. They hate having to wait for it to respond and when it doesn’t, they hate having to wait for someone else to help them do a task as simple as going to get a glass of water or put on their slippers or even read a book. What is your reaction when your car does not start in the morning when you have to get to work? Perhaps a few expletives, then slam on the dash board and yell at it- time for a new car. Dad can’t do this.

So today, dig deep to find that moment when you can put aside all of your angst toward your Dad as his Caregiver to see him as a person and the Dad he once was to wish him Happy Father’s Day. For one day in the very near future, you will be just like me sitting down with your coffee and seeing on Facebook everyone spending this day with their Dad and all you will be posting is a memory of one’s past.

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