As a friendly reminder, this coming Sunday, June 19, is Father's Day. And apparently, according to some research, Mothers are worth 8 billion more dollars than fathers are, at least when it comes to how much money is spent on each parent’s prospective annual holiday. In other words, Mother's Day takes the metaphorical cake, leaving fathers with just a handful of leftover crumbs.
I wonder why this is?
There is a man I have known all my life. Where I am now, I have come to realize that I am blessed to have had him in my life since the day I was born. When I was growing up, through my eyes he was the kindest and strongest man in the whole world. An image that stayed with me long into my adult years.
This man is my dad.
My dad taught me so much about life. Although, he was always a man of few words, I continue to learn through the examples that he sets for me every day in how he continues to live his own life.
At the age of 86, my dad suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed on his left side. I still remember that day when I visited him at the hospital and how small and frail he looked. At that moment, I realized my dad was no longer the man I had envisioned since my childhood. It made me rethink my perceptions about aging and mortality.
After his stroke, my dad was determined to get back to where he was prior to the stroke. The hospital had him in physical and speech therapy days after his stroke. Amazingly, the therapists had him walking and speaking in the 3-weeks before he was released from the hospital. Afterwards, he continued out-patient and in-home therapy. Over time, he got about 90 percent of his functionality back. It gave me a whole new appreciation and respect for physical therapy and therapists.
Today, dad is still great, still sweet, still funny. But his eyes has softened, his walk has slowed, his mind has weakened, and his memories have begun to fade, but he is still with us, and for that, I am ever so grateful.
I know not every child is granted a gift like mine, but it is important to remember that there are a lot of wonderful father figures out there who have touched the lives of people, be it their own children, others’ children, and/or people they've mentored or coached.
Father's Day should never be thought of as "left over crumbs", but rather, a special opportunity to express your love and gratitude for all the father figures in your life. If your "father" is here, take time to hug him and thank him for always doing his best. If he is still able, talk to him and listen to his life stories because life goes by in a blink of an eye, and in the end, all we are left with are the memories.
However you celebrate your day I hope you have a special day with your dad, grandfather, or other father figures in your life.
Happy Father's Day!
(to be continued)