This is not the celebration as you know it or expect to read about here.
Since my divorce and my daughter was old enough to put two and two together (during her latter teen years), she surprised me with a Father’s Day card one year and a new tradition was born.
“The way I see it, “she told me, “you’ve been both a mother and father to me. Like consistent—you know.”
If it hadn’t been for her future husband explaining she should have a relationship with her father, no matter how good or bad it was, she would have cut off all communication with her father around age sixteen.
“Later, you may be sorry you didn’t have one,” he’d explained to her.
Today as in past years, her father has been invited, as well as her husband’s father and remaining grandfather, to a celebratory barbeque for this special day (upstairs).
I forgot I hadn’t received my usual Father’s Day card until my daughter came downstairs and knocked on my door around 3:30 p.m., carrying a tray. Although I was looking right at her, for some reason I couldn’t focus on what she held.
“What do you have there?” I asked.
As she put each item on my dining-room table, I began to see: a hamburger in a bun, a sausage in a bun, pasta and bean salads and coleslaw on a plate, a cupcake with whipped cream and quartered strawberry, an Oreo Tiramisu— and a cold beer!
She’d brought the celebration downstairs.
I cried when she hugged me. I had trouble letting go.
“I love you,” she told me, “and all you have done for me. Happy Father’s Day.”
I couldn’t stop blubbering—more this year than last—and the year before that.
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