Father’s Day usually approaches close on the heels of my birthday every year. I was going to try and “ignore” it this time since Daddy passed so recently; I thought it would be too painful to recognize. As I sat and stared at the candle on my cupcake at work, though, I remembered how Daddy used to decorate our birthday cakes as little girls. It was a peculiar thing for a father to want to do, but he enjoyed it. The memories came flooding back, and all of a sudden, I wanted to celebrate him and all of the good fathers out there that are doing their best for their families.
There’s not generally a lot of fuss over Father’s Day, even though fathers have just as integral a part in the family unit as the mother. Unfortunately, because men aren’t as expressive with their feelings as women sometimes are, we almost forget they have them. It’s so sad when that happens. After all, if it weren’t for Daddy, who would have taught me to ride my bike? How would I have learned how to drive a stick shift? Who would have helped me with my science projects and taught me how to grow a garden? Who would have ingrained spiritual respect for animals and all living things and taught me not to waste? Who would have taught me how to tie a larkshead knot? Who would Momma have threatened me with when I misbehaved? Who would have kept my spare tires aired up and changed my oil? Who would have bandaged my “broken face” and made up silly names for me? Who would sing me to sleep? Who could have taught me inappropriate language and other harmless forms of profanity? Who would have slept with a firearm under his side of the bed, just in case an intruder threatened us? Who would have danced with Momma?
Who could have done better to encourage me to reach for the stars? Who else could have made me laugh, no matter what kind of mood I was in? Who would be able to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and make me want to be a better person? Who would have fixed my stuff and the other broken stuff people brought over? Who else could I have called in the middle of the night when I was in trouble? Who would have told me to, “save the big chunks for later”? Who would I watch grit his teeth through pain and teach me to be strong? Who would have put a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly? Who could have shown me the way with a firm hand and comfort me the next minute with the softest touch? Who would have left a legacy so rich and inspiring that I would work my whole life to live by the code and integrity he lived by? Who? Tell me, who could be my Daddy? There is no Daddy like mine, not one.
Now don’t take me wrong; Momma did most of the things I mentioned, too. I’d be lost without her, and I give her the full reverence she deserves. She just wasn’t Daddy, and this isn’t Mother’s Day.
If your Daddy is still here this year, I hope you can find some things in this list of sorts to be grateful for. I hope you realize, if you don’t already know, how good your dad is to you. I hope you are inspired to show him how much you appreciate what he has done for you and with you throughout the years. If you do nothing else this Father’s Day, do tell your dad that you love and appreciate him. He may not say it, but it will mean more to him than you will ever know.