Yesterday was Father’s Day (Happy Belated to all Daddies out there!). We had a beautiful day in New England and got to spend most of the day on the water with my husband, the kiddo, jerkface (the dog, for those of you that are new) and my in-laws.
Father’s Day has always been a hard day for me. My dad died when I was 2.5 in an accident and the only memories I have of him could very well be made up from a combination of things I’ve been told and dreams. I spent my youth making Father’s Day cards for my Grampa and being angry about Father/Daughter dances. I had a friend who used to get upset when her dad had to travel on business and may have told her to get over it, at least he was coming back (again, I may have made that up in my head). Most days were fine, after all, I didn’t know any different. But certain things always pushed my buttons.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My mom filled both roles incredibly and she will always be my number one hero for pulling that off. She’s an amazing, strong woman who I hope I’m a reflection of. And I was lucky to live only minutes from my grandparents who were both a huge influence in my life – my Grampa took special care to make me feel special, all the way up to the day I said goodbye to him. I recall our whole family being very close when I was young, and spending holidays and summers with all of them – I was blessed to have some amazing uncles who have always helped look out for me and never let me feel left out. There was also a childless couple that lived in our neighborhood that took all the neighborhood kids under their wing, and they were both a huge part of my life for a long time. They would take me hiking, teach me about the outdoors, and even took me on my first (and maybe last?) motorcycle ride (Okay, fine, it was scooter. But still!).
But, as anyone who has lost a parent when they were young – or probably at any time – would tell you, it’s not the same.
My stepdad came into the picture in junior high and although we had a rough beginning, I’m so glad we’ve become close as I’ve grown up. He’s an amazing guy and I’m so grateful he’s part of ours lives. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have really known my Dad, but since the past can’t be changed, I’m so grateful for everyone that has filled in for him, and I’m sure he is too.
I’m also confident he’s been up there watching out for me all these years. There’s no other explanation for some of the good fortune – or near misses – I’ve had in life. If you don’t believe in such things, I can respect that. But at the end of the day, this helps me sleep at night and there is no denying there must be something bigger than us out there.
All this to say, I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day honoring all of those “Dads” out there. Biological fathers, step fathers, grandparents, uncles, brothers, cousins, incredible family friends – they all count. You never know who’s life you’re making a difference in just by showing up.
Rest in Peace… Dad, Grampa, and SG. I know you’re all up there watching out for the peanut and I <3
The first of The Charlotte Hayes Series (she also lost her father at a young age, go figure right? ;p), will be released later this summer. Sign up here or on the form in the sidebar to be notified!