June 15, 2014 was the last father’s day I’d ever spend with him, but certainly not the last I’ll ever celebrate for him. Six months ago, my father passed away due to heart complications at the age of 65. Beforehand, he had been in and out of the hospital for a few months. Was I worried? Of course. Did I think it would be his last few months on earth? Not at all.
Losing a parent is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in life; after losing a child of course. It’s a shame how many of us do not realize the value of a parent until we become one ourselves. I am not a parent yet, but I am fortunate to understand at the age of 28 how your parents are not just your parents– but also your best friend, your advocate, your life guide and eventually your guardian angel.
As soon as I heard the news of my father’s passing, so many pictures flashed throughout my brain. Oddly enough they were not of times spent with him, rather they were of future events he would be missing– my wedding, the birth of my children, endless holidays, birthday parties and graduations, etc. I can be religious and say that he will be there in spirit; or I can be blunt and tell you that every single holiday is tougher without him there.
June 21, 2015 will be the next holiday spent without him around and will most likely be the toughest one, being that it is Father’s Day this year. For weeks I have been dreading this day–avoiding every Father’s Day advertisement and walking by the card aisle in any store, until I realized how selfish I was being.
Father’s Day is not about the child; rather it is a time to recognize the contributions that a man makes for that child. My father not only contributed so much to my life, but to the lives of my sister and four brothers as well. We have become who we are today due to his moral support, guidance and most of all love. Now shouldn’t that be celebrated?
So here I am, trying my hardest to put my selfish and mournful thoughts aside. Will I ever stop thinking about the future and how much my Dad will miss? Absolutely not; but if I don’t let myself remember the past and all the memories we have shared, I’m bound to lose the idea of what this day truly represents.
Happy Father’s Day to all the father figures out there, and a special Happy Father’s Day to my Dad above. Today and everyday, I celebrate you.