Well... here comes another Father's Day this Sunday. And last year, in March, the last dad in my immediate family, Greg's father, died. So now there are no older-generation dads, and even now, no current-generation (meaning mine) that are in our family. It is strange to NOT have a "real" dad to send a card to, to phone on Sunday. Since the birth of his first child, I have been sending a card to my nephew, who has two boys of his own and is dealing with the reality that parenting brings - all the challenges, but also the rewards that kids bring.
My own dad has been gone four (five?) years now. At the time, his abrupt death did not really seep into my consciousness, in a way. Yet I was so glad that Greg and I had dropped everything and flown to northern MN when my sister let me know that he was hospitalized and it did not look good. So very, very glad. I would not have forgiven myself if I had not hugged him or talked with him those last few times. His first great-grandchild was an infant then, and there are photos of Dad with the baby. The most difficult thing I had to do, after his death, was to sit in the car as we backed out of the driveway and headed to Minneapolis for our return flight to Houston. I felt so awful, leaving my mother with that empty house. Of course, now I know what she went through. But my guilt feelings were whipping me about that day like a large flag on a high pole in hurricane-force winds. And my brother-in-law has been gone over seven years now. Another sudden death. Another father gone.
Father's Day -- for so many years, a time of happiness, buying and sending cards and making phone calls. And now a time for recollections, for reflections.
To all of you who still have your dads or your husbands to hug -- be grateful. No matter how good or poor their parenting skills, be happy that you have them to hug.