The Roadmap My Dad Left For Me to Follow
Today has been about celebrating fathers – our own, our children’s, or even just the fathers who we know and deserve to be appreciated. There are so many wonderful dads out there that I want to say thank you and Happy Father’s Day to – know that you are loved and appreciated.
As I sit here I am thinking of the importance of fathers in our lives; the impact of their guiding force, what impressions they leave us, and how we choose to march forward on our own paths based on what they showed us. I think about my own Dad, who is no longer here to give guidance, or shake his head at my latest escapades (and I still have them, he would be deeply disappointed if I did not). I think about my husband, the man he has become as my partner in life and my partner in parenting. I think about all of the men who have played a role of father figure over the years – mentoring me, providing insight when I felt lost.
And then, I am reminded that for many there is not a father around to provide this guidance – they have passed on as mine has or maybe they were not available from day one and a mother has played the role of mother and father – and that does not take away from the importance of Father’s Day, but perhaps in these cases we celebrate it a bit differently. However you celebrate today, remember that you honor them with your words, your thoughts, the path that you walk far into the future.
Father’s Day is one of those days that I have a hard time talking about. Partially because I wobbled for awhile after my Dad passed, maybe even still wobble a bit from time to time. And partially because I lack the special insight a father has and I can really only speak about it from the sidelines – as someone that is standing in the flowerbed peaking in the window. With that being said, while I cannot relate to the distinct feeling of being a father, I can appreciate what guiding force my father has had on my life. He helped me see that if I was willing to put in the time any endeavor I chose could be accomplished. That I could overcome any obstacles that might come my way. He showed me that no task was too big, and no outcome was too small to be worthwhile. He helped me open my mind and see that there was a whole wide world out there ready to be explored.
The lessons my father taught me in the very short time I had with him has extended into the lessons I am able to teach my children, but they have also extended out into my writing. The writer I choose to be also has a deep respect for self, a deep respect for the people that I interact with – both in person and on paper.
In light of this, and today being Father’s Day, I remember fondly my dad and the things that he wanted me to carry with me. Our fathers – regardless of what form they take in our lives – will walk our path with us, even long after they are gone, and their memories will help remind us that respect, hard work, and an open mind are the street signs that lead us forward when they cannot.
Thank you, dad.