On this Father’s Day, I want to say how grateful I am for my dad and for my husband, who is my daughter’s Papa. I celebrate them both, and I’m sad that I won’t be with either of them on this Sunday.
But, I’m also aware that Father’s Day isn’t always a day of celebration. It can be a sad day and a confusing day.
Several years ago, friends of mine lost the Dad in their home. Every holiday that first year was a day of profound grief for a guy who died much too young. And, I’m sure that Father’s Day is a pretty sad day, even still, for his kids and wife.
It’s hard to hear about brunches and cookouts and yet another blue tie. These holidays punctuate the loss and put a magnifying glass up to the emptiness.
I’m sure there are a lot of broken hearts this year for the dads of the people who died in Orlando. Nothing ever makes up for the loss of a child. The one who dipped his hands in tempera paint and made handprints for a card.
And there are others, too, who suffer on this day. The folks with dads who aren’t good guys.
Life can be complicated and people do terrible things to each other. They do terrible things to their children and grandchildren, and they leave a web of anger and suffering in their wake.
These men may be walking around in the free world and some may be incarcerated. As they live their lives, their families live theirs, too. They wake up every day in a world where Dad was an instrument of harm, where Dad mangled the love and created terrible memories.
For these sad souls, for those who grieve and for those who keep going every day despite not getting what they deserved, I send a heart full of love.
A poem has taken the internet by storm this week, by Maggie Smith. You can read here about her and her thoughts on this poem’s success.
by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
I am grateful for my dad and for my husband. This is a confusing world, an imperfect world, a world that isn’t always beautiful. So, on this day, I celebrate the beauty that I find and send love to those whose worlds are terrible at the moment.
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