Papa’s Day

So today is a little rough for my family and I. Seeing constant advertisements and pictures of happy dads and families gets a little wearing. You really want to be happy for everyone else and glad that they can celebrate and everything but you still feel super sorry for yourself.

This is my dad when he came home from the hospital after a month of chemo. He put these pill cups over his eyes and walked around the kitchen yelling “The cancer got my eyes” and we all thought it was the funniest shit ever.

My dad was one of my best friends and even though I only had 17 years with him, I think the connection we had and the lessons I learned from him are the some of the most important things I hold in my heart and mind. For me and my sister, my parents both allowed us to do what we wanted until we got in trouble (which never happened.) They put more restriction on my brothers because they needed it and I think that being trusted to do things on my own helped me to grow and progress in a much healthier way than my friends who had really controlling parents.

I remember my dad used to bike to kindergarten every day to pick me up and we’d ride our bikes up to the gas station and I would always get a box of Nerds and my dad would buy a Mountain Dew and beef jerky.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I got very depressed for a long time and my parents didn’t know what to do with me, so my dad drove me to the store and made me get some ice cream and he picked out “Bye Bye Birdie” because he knew that I liked musicals.

Every time I failed my Driver’s tests my dad would make fun of the DMV people for me.

After I told off my high school band teacher and got in trouble for the first time in my life, he was so proud of me for standing up for myself and I remember that a lot more than any of the consequences of going to the principal’s office.

He took me and all my siblings out of school to see every Lord of the Rings movie on the day they came out. When I was in third grade, he dressed up and took me to lunch and to see Monster’s Inc on my birthday.

The first time in my life I ever swore, I was in the back of the car and my dad put in a Simon and Garfunkel CD and I said “Paul Simon is a fucking poet” and my dad looked at me, shocked at first, and then said “that’s right,”

My dad and I shared a lot of the same interests, and I didn’t really know how many until after he died that I had missed so many opportunities to bond with him over things that we both loved. We had Shakespeare, Doctor Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Lord of the Rings and I think he would have liked Game of Thrones.

My dad and I also shared a sense of humor. Basically everything funny you read on here stems from the brand of humor we shared  My mom is funny too, but in a different way. I think most importantly, my dad and I understood each other and I was a little more resilient with is humor than my siblings because I was never afraid to bite back.

I started this post thinking I was going to write an entirely different thing, but then I started crying and listing some  of my favorite memories. I also wanted to remind people that father’s day isn’t for everyone. We all know people who were raised just by their moms and grandparents. A lot of people have bad relationships with their fathers and today is especially difficult for them because of the pressure they feel to do something for a father they don’t care for. Some people have absentee fathers, deadbeats, and just bad fathers but still know that there are good dads out there and struggle to be happy for others while dealing with their own issues and I just wanted to tell everyone that it’s okay. This is one day a year that you can ignore and just spend avoiding the reminders and shit and all that. Don’t feel guilty for not doing anything.

I also need to mention my mom, who had to step in the role of both parents after my dad died. She had to take on responsibilities she had never had to do before, all while trying to adjust to a life without her other half. The more I think about it, I have no idea how she managed to keep it all together with 4 emotionally traumatized kids plus herself. She learned to do everything on her own and also made the decision to go back to school. She had never planned to be going through the second half of her life alone (or at least single) but when life happened she kept going and I think that’s about the most admirable thing she could do.

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