Monday, June 21, 2004

FATHER'S DAY IN DECEMBER

Today may as well be Christmas. It's another day of which I am a non-celebrating minority. But while I have never taken part in the glorious day in December (company holiday parties non-withstanding), it was not long ago that I too had a Father's Day brunch. In fact, this is only my second Father's Day to be transformed into a regular Sunday. A Sunday like the week before and the week after.

As I received catalogue's in the mail, reminding me that "this is what dad wants!," I noticed the cruel nature of designating a day for patrimony appreciation. Walking down the aisles of Walgreen’s, the Hallmark cards called out, reminding me...all the cards I had no need to look through and consider, asking myself was this funny enough or was it too funny? I wondered if there were Hallmark employees, writers who had to write the card inscriptions, those that had lost their fathers. Was it harder for them? I only had to walk by them. They, on the other hand, had to conjure all the painful memories of those tie-gifting Sundays. I felt bad for them.

All the friends I spoke with today, tiptoed around thier own celebrations. "I'm with my family," said one, keeping it ambiguous but still making it very clear. I walked to the park to meet some friends, all who had their own specific reasons for not being with their dads (mostly out-of-towners) and I noticed the wandering people on the streets. I wondered why they weren't with their fathers--could there have been a falling out? Were they no longer speak to one another? I then realized that setting one day aside for evaluating a relationship with the man who brought you into this world seemed too shallow. One day out of 365 self-serving days. Granted, I consider this only because I no longer have the opportunity to buy a Father's Day gift or card (which is not to say that I don't appreciate him every day, every hour, every minute--I do. In retrospect, every encounter, every phone call is now precious gold) but I can no longer tell him that.

I was thinking that if I knew two or three years ago what I knew now, I would have bought two Father's Day cards: one for the appropriate day and the other...I would have saved it for a few weeks, keeping it for some random Tuesday or Wednesday. Then, I would have written an inscription inside the card, telling Dad how much he means to me, how much strength and support he has given me over the years, how invaluable his presence is in my life. I would have written that card unconcerned with looking a little "uncool," I would have gladly been a Daddy's boy. I would have mailed that card to him so he would get it on that random Tuesday and Wednesday, and then he would have opened it up, read it, and knowing him, he would have cried. He would have called me to thank me and how unnecessary it was.

I no longer have that opportunity but I wish more than anything in the world for it. I know that's naive and child-like...to wish life into existence, but I can't help it. When I was young, I remember jealously watching TV in December with all the holiday commercials. I was saddened that I was not a part of what-seemed like a worldly celebration. Seeing Santa virtually everywhere, I told my Dad that I felt a bit left out. My father laughed with a trademark twinkle in his eye. He pinched my cheek and took me out for a Strawberry milkshake.

Well, today I feel a bit left out again. Except this time, I have no one to take me out for a Strawberry milkshake.

1 Comments:

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