It was another Father’s Day that I only got to talk to Dad, not be with him. Not that he sat home home cryng about it. He and Mom took a bus trip to Lancaster, PA (one of their favorite places to visit) with the Warren Senior Citizens group.
Dad turns 83 on Wednesday and the two holiday’s have always been combined…not fair, but it is what it is.
I am fortunate because there are no unresolved issues with my parents…all three of us are very clear as to where we stand with each other…..but I wanted to be sure.
Thus, a letter, printed on plain copy paper, folded and placed in a typical Father’s Day card was his present.
Last night, he told me it touched him and it was the first time in quite a while that he cried.
I have come to appreciate that, to quote the late Bill Bates, “All the goodies in life go to the lover”, (meaning that the joy is in the giving, not only the receiving).
Another way to put it is that the joys that I experience at this point in my life come from first watching our daughters continue to grow, but after that it is my loving others and offering acts of service and joy on their behalf as opposed to what can they do for me.
My suggestion to all who read this is to take whatever steps necessary to heal and complete all the relationships in your life, starting with your parents, if possible. If it is no longer possible because of death, you still have a chance. Go to their grave or maybe a place special to both of you. Have a one way conversation as you would if you had the chance to actually thank them for all the good things they did, forgive them for their errors, tell them you love them and then say goodbye. I have heard from several people that doing that was a very powerful and liberating experience.
It may sound corny, but since I have stopped living for people to satify my needs I have become happier.
What more can I ask for?
Here is the text: (One link added to explain and a couple of references to my mother, since they do go hand in hand.)
Ah, what to give for Father’s day?
Well, we never know what tomorrow brings and I thought that a few, well chosen words from the heart might do the trick.
Thank you for sticking your finger out at me that fateful day. My grabbing on was a wise choice.
I have so many fond memories of growing up and most of them revolve around being with you…things you probably don’t remember. Mostly things that I experienced because I was simply tagging along.
You exposed me to lots of very interesting experiences and I try to compare things I do with my girls and they just do not match up.
I think the most important thing that you (and mom) did was never talk down to me…even when I was going about trying to destroy my life on a couple of occasions, you were at my side. I cannot ever recall a time when you weren’t holding me up.
I know too many people whose parents put them down on a regular basis…and they will never forget that. Another point for you both.
You (and mom) have been a great example as to tolerance. I learned to be thick-headed from both of you and I learned my lessons well. Being married is not as easy as it looks on paper…..I have watched and learned from you how to apply the theories.
Sooner or later, we are going to run out of Father’s Days to share. It’s just the way it goes. I am so fortunate however, to be 54 and still have both my parents around to lean on, joke with and enjoy.
I don’t think the three of us have ever been closer…even though we are 750 miles apart.
I hear from so many people that have unresolved issues with their parents and they regret they never cleared them up. I’m lucky…we don’t have any unresolved issues (at least I don’t).
When it is all said and done, we all have done the best we could with what we knew at the time.
In thirty years, I’ll settle for my girls saying that about me.
Happy Father’s Day …..I love you (both)