Happy Early Father’s Day

June 18, 2010 at 6:41 AM 1 comment

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.  Thank you for being a dad.  Father’s Day is still a raw day for me and my family as we lost my dad to Pancreatic Cancer a year and three months ago.  I wish that I could report that we spent Father’s Day doing what my dad loved most.  I would report that we started the morning off with a nice sleep in, then rushed to St. Nicholas Church (always late); after mass, we took a very slow drive, looking at real estate and checking out neighbors; and then we had a long, leisurly breakfast with Dad entertaining us with stories of the mundune such as who his lunching partners were that week.  Once the little ones had their naps, we gathered for a stroll through the park with a backpack brimming with crackers, salami, beer and candy (my absolute favorite things you could possibly fill a backpack with).  We returned home from the walk to prepare ribs on the bar-b-que, swim and to dine outside on the deck looking out at the view, and of course, his grapes.  Did I also mention the weather would be perfect?  If it sounds ideal, that’s because it was.

Unfortunately, I know this is not how the day the will go, as much as I would like it to.  As I prepare for the pain of Father’s Day and I keep in mind my comforting mantra that “he is still with us spiritually and he would want us to be happy,” I can’t help but think about Mother’s Day three years ago now.  We actually had the backpack packed with the exact ingredients just described and we were waiting for my brother and his fiance to come for our walk.  My dad and I were in the kitchen (sneaking licorice and cherry jelly beans with devilish grins on our faces) and we looked out the window to see that my brother and his fiance had pulled up the driveway and were sitting in the car for a while.  Eventually, they got out of the car and my brother was holding his fiance as she cried and they slowly walked towards the front door. My brother’s fiance (now my awesome sister-in-law) had lost her own mother to cancer three years prior. It was clear that Mother’s Day was an incredibly hard day for her as she dearly missed her mother.  Without a second hesitation, my dad dropped everything and walked out to the driveway.  He walked right up to her and hugged her and did not let go until she had a good cry.  That was exactly what she needed.  It was at that moment, on Mother’s Day three years ago, that I was struck by how loving, caring and genuine my father was.  I had been struck with the same thought at other points in my life but this time sticks in my mind as I now long for his hugs.  I wish more then anything this Father’s Day I could pull up my driveway, walk to the door weeping as my husband holds me.  I wish I could look up and see my dad approaching with a face of empathy and unconditional love.  I wish my dad could take me in with open arms and I could rest my head against his protruding belly as his arms wrap around me and protect me from the world; I wish I could stand there in the warmth of his embrace until my tears dried up.  I have found it is his hugs that I miss the most.  There is never a place where I have felt so safe.

To my dad, thank you for always being such an amazing father to myself and to those who married into the family.  You always knew how to make each individual feel special and loved.  I will carry that with me as I try to do the same.

I always love you and I will never forget your hugs.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Bridget Morgan  |  June 21, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    Kate,
    With your post, you capture perfectly, what daughters of wonderful dad’s feel after they have left us. I lost my dad in 1996, at his grand old age of 80, after I had felt his hugs for many. many years. However, these fourteen years later, Father’s Day without him is still teary for me. My dad — Michael E. Conway — would have been 95 this Father’s Day. Thank you so much for writing what you did as it reinforced what and where I have tried to focus my thoughts on Father’s Day ever since my dad died.
    Sincerely,
    Bridget Morgan

    Reply

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