Here it is almost Father's Day again. As my husband is working long hours, and not really a card kind of guy, I am there to pick out his cards for him. Today while out shopping, Jacob picked out his dad's Father's Day card. As I stood there in the aisle looking for a card for my husband and his father, other cards caught my eye. Those cards that said, "To my father, from your daughter." I tried not to pick one up, I tried to look in the other direction, but my eyes just kept going back to those cards. As my head was telling me not to even touch one, my heart was saying, "You must." I am not quite sure why I torture myself in this way. Maybe it just brings back memories of my daddy, or maybe I am finding myself wishing I too could pick out a card for my dad.
So, today after I gathered all the cards I needed. After I was the only one in the aisle, I stood there and picked out a card for my dad. I read many with tears streaming down my cheeks, until I found the perfect one. Once I did, I whispered ever so softly, "Happy Father's Day Daddy." I gently placed the card back in the slot, and slowly walked away.
I think in some sense this gives me a peace in my heart. Maybe in some crazy kind of way it just brings comfort as I remember his laugh, and him walking in from work saying, "Hey Rob." It has been twenty-four years now, and still seems like yesterday when I bought that last Father's Day card for him, never realizing it would be the last. June 20Th is a bitter sweet day for me and probably always will be, but I try not to focus on my dad not being here, and focus on the love I remember. I know he is in heaven, so seeing him again one day will be a day I can again feel his hand on mine.
I remember and honor him for being such an amazing father, who sacrificed, who gave, and loved this princess as only a daddy can. I am blessed with a father-in-law who is one of the most gentle, loving men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Although he is not my daddy, a hug from him still makes me smile, and I know that card my husband places in his hands makes him smile. Too many times we leave the focus on ourselves thinking our parents will be here forever or maybe this day doesn't really mean much, but we never know when that last day will come, that last hug, and we need to take that time out to look past ourselves, our busy lives and look to those we love so very much.
See, I have this amazingly, talented friend, who makes cards. She has blessed me with many to give out to others, since she knows how much I love giving another a smile. But one thing I don't think others realize is, inside her cards are blank. Although I love to write on the inside, which is an understatement, I fill the the entire card with words of love, but for Father's Day I find it much easier to just pick up one of her cards, and give it to my husband, and father-in-law instead of going to that dreaded aisle and seeing all those cards I would pick out for my own dad.
But I am learning, the easy way is not always the best way. That easy road carries less blessings, so as I travel down that aisle of tears, I find now, they are no longer tears of sadness, but of hope, love, and honor. Honor remembering the man who gave for this little girl all he could, who fought through his battle of cancer with sheer determination, and grace.
On Father's Day I hug my husband and share with him how proud I am of him, for being the daddy that he is. He has sacrificed much, and is one of the greatest dad's I know. He is a hero to me, for all that he has given without expecting in return. I see the look on my son's face as he picks out a card for his dad, and you know, it's the same look that I have, one that is proud, that is thankful, and one that remembers all the love given.
This Father's Day, treasure each moment. If you are like me, and your daddy is no longer with you, don't shed tears for loss, but for gain, for all the love and care, laughter and time you were blessed to share. In our busy lives, it is one day we can take time out for those dad's in our lives to give back of what they so richly deserve, a day in which they hear the words, "I love you daddy. Thank you for all you are to me." Take time to give that hug of love and thanks, it is one that means just as much to our daddies, as it does for us.