Remembering our Fathers

Last formal picture of my Dad

As most of you know, today is Father’s Day in America.  Not sure how many other countries, if any, celebrate this day.  It is a day that can be easy or difficult depending on your relationship with your father.

My relationship with my Dad was complicated.  I found him too difficult to understand and distant when I was growing up.  I sometimes wondered whether he approved of me.  We often argued, though we both kinda liked to argue too.

Often we would be in the middle of an argument and would both smile because we enjoyed the challenge of and respected someone who could stand up to our sometimes ridiculous stubbornness.

Still, I used to envy other people who had easy relationships with their father — ones that were always affectionate and kind and simple.  Ours wasn’t like that.

Many of my best memories of my Dad were on family vacations

Yet at his funeral I couldn’t even finish reading a simple passage in front of other people.  My body just froze and my brother had to come up and help me to my seat.  I was a basket case because I was losing the steady rock that was my father.

Even after years of Alzheimer’s disease, when he depended upon others to take care of him, there was always a dignity tha never left him.   A few days ago, I saw a beautiful post by Eva  at where’smyT-backandotherstories on the effects of Alzheimer’s shown through an artist’s first hand experience of it.  Check it out if you have time.

I believe that after people pass from this realm into the next their soul and spirit are restored no matter how they lived.  Occasionally, my Dad comes to me in dreams.  Sometimes I feel my presence when I need him.

My Dad was a wonderful grandfather.  Here he is with my niece Camille. I never remember him reading books to me, but that’s how it is.  It’s tough being a parent, I now understand this.

No matter what your relationship to your father, even if you never knew him, today is a day to honor the person who with your mother gave you life.  A big part of the gift of who you are comes from that person, and for that reason, he is a blessing to your life, because you are a blessing to the world.

So whatever good you can find in yourself, remember your father today and be grateful for the possibilities that still remain in your life because of the gift he gave you.

Thank you Dad for all you gave me, and happy Father’s Day wherever you are now.

These are some photos that show the loving and kind side of my father who loved his family so much in the best way he could.  I honor him today.

My Dad could be goofy! Here he is in Jamaica with my Mom in the 1980’s.
My Dad often resisted travel beforehand but always went on trips with my Mom. Here they are on their way to Alaska in the 1990’s.
I had trouble scanning this well, so it’s a bit fuzzy, but I’ve always loved this picture of my Dad with me and my ex-husband at Disney World after walking in the rain sometime around 2000.
This final picture is one of my Dad smiling for my Mom. I believe it was taken in Alexandria, Virginia when she was working there at the Pentagon. Above all, my father loved and respected my Mom and that showed in so many choices that he made. This is how I like to remember him. Happy.

Published by Karen Powers Wan

Writer, Restorative Lifestyle Coach, Sustainability Project Manager, and Meditation Instructor.

13 thoughts on “Remembering our Fathers

  1. Ah my dad was my rock too. He left school at 13 to work in the shipyards on the River Tyne but read avidly and taught himself and me so much. He used to take me for walks as a child and tell me all about the stars. Once when I was 10 I had an accident and had to go to hospital for stitches. My dad sat with me and the nurses were amazed that I did not cry. They did not know that I felt so happy that my dad was spending time just with me ~ he was my hero. He died after a terrible illness in 1993 and I miss him to this day.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad’s illness. It must have been difficult to endure that time in your life. I don’t think we ever stop missing the people who were most important in our lives and yet we go on , and hopefully take the best part of them with us in our hearts.

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