It was 10 years ago today that I was awakened by the 5:30 am phone call that said my father had given up his fight in this mortal realm. He had inched out his last year day by agonizing day, as cancer cells ruthlessly multiplied themselves to obliterate him. He almost made it to one last Father's Day. He was 52.
Of course, I think of him at other times, and sometimes he visits my dreams. But each year when Father's Day comes around, I remember that last card that I didn't give. And think it would be nice to have him to call and wish a Happy Father's Day. Growing up, I never thought I would lose a parent before I was 30 years old. Certainly not to illness. But illness does not always overlook the young.
He has missed much. Births, deaths, triumphs, defeats, and graduations. My son barely remembers him, and my daughter came along 5 years after his death. I went looking for a photo of him, and the only one I could find was this one that was taken while camping one year. His beard was scruffy, and we called him Grizzly Adams. He used to tell us about wrestling bears in the night while we slept - and we believed he could! People were sometimes fearful or put off by his look, but he was a goodhearted and jovial man. He had his faults, as we all do, but lack of love or shirking parental duty were not among them.
This Father's Day weekend, I am using my blog to wish him a Happy Father's Day. For those of you who still have fathers living, give them your appreciation and mend any rifts while you have time. For those of you remembering a father on this weekend, I wish you contentment in the memory.