Sunday is Father’s Day, a holiday I have extremely mixed emotions about.
I love being a father. Next to being a husband, it is my next favorite thing, ahead of coffee, the wilderness, and driving a race car. To be fair, I’ve never driven a race car, and I’m sure I’d love it…but even so, it couldn’t outpace being a father.
On the being a father aspect, I’m cool with it. It’s fulfilling, fun, challenging and inspiring, in an exhausting, expensive sort of way. It’s the having a father aspect that is tough, because my dad’s been gone for years.
I was 28 when dad passed away. Off hand, I can’t tell you how old I was for most of the other mile markers in life. I’d have to get a piece of paper and do some serious math to figure out how old I was when I bought that Merkur Scorpio* or how old I was when Kelsey and I bought that two story on Wood Trail in Cincinnati, but I know how exactly old I was when Dad died….because I remember telling Kelsey that that 28 is too young to not have a dad. Little did we know that a few years later, she’d lose hers at the same age.**
At 28, even married with a son, you’re still figuring a lot of things out. Heaven knows I was, and when dad passed on I felt like a living library burned down. He knew stuff and now, unless I’d already asked him, there were things I’d never know.
I don’t know how he felt about turning forty. Or how old he was when he threw up his hands and realized “Ok, whatever, I’m bald.” Or what it felt like to watch his son drive out of the driveway alone. You don’t have those conversations when you’re 28. You think you’ll have them later. It doesn’t always happen.
A lot has changed since he left us. I’ve added six children and three earrings. He’d be ecstatic. About the children. I haven’t been back to our hometown since two years after he passed. Sort of feels like I pressed through a wardrobe and while this isn’t exactly Narnia, I do like it here a lot.
Still, I miss him.
Happy fathers day everyone. Love’m while you’ve got’m.
*Check out the original commercial, if only to see the glasses Tim Allen is wearing.
**Kelsey’s father and mother passed away within 100 days of one another, victims of strangely similar cancers. They were amazing, quirky, interesting people. I miss them both.
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