I can’t help but feel a little weird about Father’s Day. It’s not that my dad and I don’t get along, it’s just that we don’t really talk much. Last year our phone conversation lasted five minutes, this year it was down to four. (That was with him ending it, not me).
It feels strange to fill out Father’s Day cards year after year gushing about how great he is, but to make me feel more honest I usually pad it with a substantial amount of how much he taught me and that sort of thing. This year I couldn’t wiggle out of it; my mom asked my sisters and I to write up notes of all the things we love about him so she could make a collage for him to wake up to.
I did it, and I wasn’t dishonest, per se, but…well, take a look for yourself.
Dad, I admire your passion in everything you do,
your strength in difficult times,
I love your courage to stick to your beliefs,
your compassion for the poor, the elderly, and the lonely,
your faith in a higher calling,
your wisdom in seeking help when you need it,
your sense of humor (though sometimes at the expense of my nose),
your logic when it might be easier to go on logic alone,
and your kindness in teaching me to navigate the sometimes scary and sometimes wonderful world around me
Okay, fine, I copped out and used a teaching one at the end. I was running out of ideas!
Like I said, none of that is incorrect, just with the rest of that sentence omitted. For instance, these are some of those complete sentiments:
I love your courage to stick to your beliefs, even though the fact that I don’t agree with them has caused arguments and distance between us.
your compassion for the poor, the elderly, and the lonely, even though that compassion doesn’t generally get offered to your daughters.
I’m sure that to those around him, Jim is a pretty stand up guy, but for family it’s a mixed bag filled with awkwardness and distance. This feels particularly weird since I can at least talk with my mom; there are all sorts of topics on the “do not bring up” list, but we can at least have a conversation. Hell, I talk to The Geek’s parents for more time and in more depth than my dad.
In some ways, the fact that we’re not closer makes me sad. Then I think back to whatever our most recent family gathering was, and what it was like being around my dad, and then I’m not so sad.