If actions speak louder than words, I have failed. I wonder if thoughts count? You know – thought, word and deed? My thoughts, words, and intentions around Father’s Day are always more in alignment with how I live my daily life. My deeds… well, not so much.
Every year I would make a mental note to be more organized and plan ahead. Guilt and failure usually waited patiently in the dark corners of my psyche. Then, Father’s Day would arrive and sure enough, my own self-fulfilling negligence would likely spin me down into the “Bad Daughter” syndrome. No gift was bought. No card was sent. A nice phone conversation would have to do – that is if I could catch him home and available. He would likely be out golfing. Once in awhile I would call my sisters a few days before and the perfect plan would unfold. But mostly, not.
I don’t remember what I did last year, if anything. I likely recognized him with that good, long telephone conversation.
Oh, how time flies between Father’s Days. Time moves quickly… days… weeks… and months go by. And as time has gotten shorter, the distance between our homes feels farther. How did that happen? Secretly, I wanted him to move closer to me when he retired. Instead, he moved 600 miles in the opposite direction. The road between us was not paved with convenience and ease.
So, what do I do for Father’s Day this year?
I know. I will love and enjoy my children a little bit more… and spend the day with lots of family. Surely being at the lake, playing in the boat, and sitting in the sunshine would make my Dad happy. I will listen to his favorite music – my Lyle Lovett playlist on Pandora – all day. I don’t like beer, but I will offer up a toast for him. We will crank up the grill and cook outdoors. We will have lots of good food, laugh and tell jokes. And with all the extra cars and jet skis around, surely something will have to be “tinkered with.” Someone will have to get their hands greasy. Yes, we might have to lift a car hood just out of respect. And later tonight, after a game of butt quarters, we will definitely hit some golf balls out of our yard, and smile… and remember!
Will that be enough? Yes.
This Father’s Day it’s been exactly four months since my Dad left this Earth to be with his Heavenly Father. But before he left, he gave me the ultimate Father’s gift – unconditional, unrelenting and unequivocal love. All that self-imposed-negligent-bad-daughter-syndrome disappeared. I’m not forgiven, because there never really was anything to forgive. All the years of thoughts and words WERE enough. All the telephone conversations were perfect. And now, toasting to him at the lake is perfect.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! The distance between our homes may have stretched many miles… but there’s no distance between our hearts – not any more. It feels as if you are right here with me, because you are. I love you.