Another Father’s Day weekend is approaching and, as usual, my family and I are scurrying to try to tie up plans to celebrate the special dads in our lives. Not that the scurrying is in a last minute kind of manner, but year-after-year it becomes increasingly more difficult to buy things for the men who have everything or don’t require much, or come up with plans for the people are who simply and truly content with their family being around somewhere within a 500 yard radius as they lounge in a chair with a cold beverage and remote in hand. We ask repeatedly and early what gifts might bring my Daddy joy. The answer is always the same, “Don’t get me anything. I just want my family happy.” He means that as proof of all of the tags in his closet from gifts given long ago. I must also be following the expectation that most women end up with men like their fathers because even my beau gives the standard “drive me crazy” answer of, “You don’t have to get me anything special. I’m happy with whatever.” So this year the Father’s Day theme is an new-fangled fish fry. And by new fangled I mean someone is going to pick it up a whole bunch of all-ready prepared seafood from a restaurant and grocery store and we’re going to celebrate the amazing men in our lives young and older, from near and far with hopes of staying awake long enough to watch the NBA finals, of course, with cold beverages and a remote in one of the fathers hands.
Fathers matter so much. I think they’ve gotten a tremendously bad rap in society because of a few bruised apples. Some may not be present by choice or circumstance. Some might have made mistakes. Some might have had difficulty giving what they’ve never received. Some might have sorely disappointed. Some, may be ideal for the families with which they’ve been blessed, but no father…just like no mother… is perfect. And still, they matter so much. Their voices matter. Their presence matters. Their ability to show us how to overcome and keep going matters. Their hugs and embrace matter. Their prayers and public display of spiritual covering matters. Their life’s stories matter. Their hard work and display of integrity matters. The bass in their voice matters. The sternness in their foreheads matters. Their role of authority matters. Their insight matters. Their experiences matter. Their ability to lead, guide, direct and protect matters. Even their mistakes matter as a clear signal of what not to do or what to do better.
With the Father’s Day “faux” Fish Fry menu in tack I realized this year, probably more than most, I’m just grateful for my Daddy and fathers in general. I truly, truly am. My dad, like most of the men in my life including my brother, my uncles, and my beau have had quite a tough year. My once strong, tall, towering, business-minded, bill-writing, chauffeuring Daddy has been battling unexpected health challenges which literally knocked him off of his feet in February. He still has a road ahead of him for total recovery and healing, but has come so far. Within the blink of an eye, a lot of his primary roles in our lives have shifted or ceased as we all collectively focus on him…for once. Isn’t that the baffling beauty of life? The man who asks for nothing now requires much. It’s an honor to be able to give it to him…with a cold beverage and remote in his hand.