The other 364 days… or Father’s Day part I

Today is Father’s Day, but in my world, every day is.  I am one of those blessed women who has one of those Dads…The kind who knows how to do anything, is smart, thoughtful, generous, does everything without ever complaining, and often without having to be asked.  When my mom got a full time job when I was in 4th grade or so, he would do the vacuuming, laundry, make dinner, and anything else that would HELP the family in addition to all the other things he did around the yard or the house, plus he still worked full time too…I remember some friends at various times commenting that their dads never helped with anything, and even then at a young age, I knew that my father was special, different, better….he is all the things I suppose a man should be, wrapped up into a tall skinny handsome package who loves my mother…The kind of man to whom every man is compared.  My Mom will tell me and my sister that Daddy is not as perfect as we think, but those words fall on deaf ears…

If you grow up with a lazy, deadbeat, uninspired, unemployed, unkind, alcoholic or drunk or jerk of a father, then a man who actually has any sort of job, actually helps a bit around the house or yard, and does not kick your dog, turns out to be “good enough.”  But when you grow up with a father like I have, nothing seems to ever be good enough, and that’s hard…it’s hard to hear at one time or another from every man you ever cared about, “I’m not like your Dad” when all you really wanted was to find someone with qualities very much like your dad…There are things about my father that would annoy me if someone exactly like him was my husband, to be clear, VERY MUCH annoy me & drive me crazy mad, but I have never looked for a man to be just like my dad, I just had always wanted to find someone much like him…I have found that when a man does something that is in a way or manner or style as my Dad would have, or says something similar to something my Dad might say, I am joyful and almost giddy…but to be clear, when a man does something, or really in most cases, DOES NOT do something,  I feel emotion rather like anger…and a voice in my head says, Daddy wouldn’t have done that

I think sometimes what I will do when he is gone…he has taught me SO much…will I remember everything I learned?  When we built this house, my dream house, this space where I feel I most belong, where I feel like I truly am at home, he came here almost every single night after we both worked all day, to work with me…he came here every single weekend to work with me…he taught me HOW to DO SOMETHING almost every single day it seemed…and suddenly after 365 days, literally, from the morning we broke ground to the afternoon I got my C.O., I realized that although I hired sub-contractors for many of the tasks that go into building a house, WE built a house!!!  My house!!!  …but it’s not just that, it’s everything…he has taught me how to do so many things and yet I still ask him to do things for me, or help me do things, and I wonder, when he is not on this earth, will I know how?  Will I remember what he has taught me?  It makes my heart ache when I think about it.  I can no more conceive of a world without my father in it, than I can imagine living without my limbs…

I know some women who had and have really terrible fathers, I am sure they would read these words and think, “oh poor you, your perfect father, boo-hoo, oh poor you can never find a perfect boyfriend like your mother got, oh woe is you…” and think about the times their Dad was drunk, or mean, or yelled, or got fired, or the family had no money, or he got arrested, or cheated, or-or-or…NOPE, none of that in my world…My dad has never been unkind, he has never been out of work, we never wanted for anything, I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever heard him raise his voice, he never missed work EVER, we always had enough money (or it seemed so,) he never got in ‘trouble’ with anyone in any way, and he ALWAYS has loved and been true to my mother.

The way that my father talks about how he loves my mother, and the way he looks at her when she does not know he is looking, is the stuff that great sonnets and poems and love songs are written about…my father truly loves my mother…and I suppose, if I were to break down all of the components of my life, what it means to be a daughter, what my father means to me, and the knowledge of having had the good luck to be born to people who dearly care for one another, and who had the same dreams as a young in love couple for the same simple and good life, perhaps that above all, is why my father is such a good Dad, because he truly is and was in love with the woman who is our mom…

I am 46 years and seven months and nine days on this earth, and I have felt loved for every single one of them.  I have disappointed my parents several times in my life, and as much as I love my mom, those feelings of upsetting her, are not nearly as hard to bear as when I feel I have upset and disappointed my father…I have a constant “need” I guess, to want him to be pleased with me…I guess most women with a dad like mine, do, and I admit that is difficult, all the time, to feel that perpetual urge to “measure up,” and with every poor choice and bad decision I make, feel that I am again disappointing him, but the fact of the matter is that I know both my parents love me without condition, and so on this Father’s Day I want to say thank you to my Dad, for loving my mother, for loving me and my sister, and our children, and the daughters of my daughter, and for accepting all of us, even when we disappoint him, and loving us and being good to us, 365 days a year…year after year…



1 thought on “The other 364 days… or Father’s Day part I

  1. We are probably the two luckiest women on the planet. I know exactly how you feel since my father is as amazing as your dad is. I know both of these men and how they have reacted to all of our good and bad decision through the years. I have not felt unloved for one moment of one day in my life. having two parents still is a blessing. Having amazing parents who have always helped and encouraged us even when they may have wanted to strangle us made us the women we are today. Happy Fathers Day Mr. D

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