For most of my life, Father’s Day has been a sad day, not a day of celebration. It has been a day where I have remembered loss. A day where I have experienced grief and jealousy, and often been overwhelmed with sadness. I am so used to pretending that it doesn’t exist that it really crept up on me this year. It’s now become autopilot for me to move all of those promotional ‘spoil dad…’ Emails to my trash box, with a thought about how rude it is of this business to assume I have a Dad, and then continue scrolling. It’s become standard for me to duck around all the extra Hallmark stands (not that I would spend 7.99 on a card anyway when I’m a perfectly capable crafter… Or Kmart right?).
But this year- it was my husbands second Father’s Day. My daughters Dad. How special. And I nearly totally brushed the event under the table… Now I’ll be honest, the whole consumerism and all the rest of the ugly stuff that comes with these sorts of holidays completely pisses me off- but I do wholeheartedly appreciate the solid reminder to take some time out and appreciate your Dad. Should we do it all the time instead of just because society names a day ‘Father’s Day?’ Absolutely! But do I have a problem with there being a day for it? Well not anymore- embracing it.
As we were walking around the Royal show today, surrounded by many other families, all of different shapes and sizes and make ups, I found myself really thinking about Father’s Day, and Father’s, and my hang up on ‘not having MY Dad’.
And it sucks.
It’s completely shit that I can’t tell my Dad I love him.
But I am not alone.
I’ve spent almost two decades living without my Dad. And now many more without my Poppy and Grandad, both of whom I adored. But I now realise how many Dad’s I actually have in my life.
I have my husband- and he is not my Dad, but he is an absolutely wonderful father to our daughter Isabella. She is a pretty lucky little lady.
I have a pretty awesome Step-Dad- who is not a step dad in the traditional sense of being raised by him, because I was totally a grown woman and living out of home when Mum met him. But he is pretty awesome. And not only because of his extensive DVD collection, the fact he would totally give me $20 if I asked, or the awesome discount he gets me on electrical goods, but because he is my daughters Grandfather. Not her step-grandfather. Her grandfather, who she loves wholeheartedly, and who he loves regardless of who’s blood runs in her veins. Because he chooses to. ❣❣
I have an amazing father-in-law. And I’m not just saying that because he bought me Chinese for dinner tonight, even though it’s Fathers Day. I’m saying that because he welcomed me into his family. He looks out for me, offers me advice and treats me like his daughter. Because he chooses to, too. And my daughter is also completely smitten with her Granda. She is a lucky girl surrounded by family who love her. ❤️❤
So there’s three amazing Dads who are a part of my life, but there are many more. My life wouldn’t be what it is today without my Uncles. They have been a huge part of my life, and I’ve shared many moments with them over the years, that I perhaps wouldn’t have if my own father had been here to fill that place. So I lost something big, but I also gained these extra special relationships with these other wonderful men. Some of whom are sadly no longer here.
And so I wanted to say this- to acknowledge this- that there are people out there hurting today, because seeing the word ‘Father’ plastered all over shop windows for the last month, all over their Facebook news feed today and in everyone conversations this week, was painful for them. And for some of them, the pain is new. It might be the first or only the second year that they have experienced their day without seeing their Father. And it’s hard. Support them.
But if your reading this, I want to tell you- the pain of your loss might not ever go away, but you will heal. You will manage better. You will learn. And you will love and live more again. It is ok to celebrate. It is ok to be happy. You don’t have to feel guilty.
And to all the Dads- Step, Co, Biological, Adopted, Father figures, Granda’s, Grandad’s, Poppy’s, Uncles-who-played-massive-roles, Mum’s who did it all- Thank you- Happy Fathers Day.