Mixed Emotions This Father’s Day

Today was Father’s Day. And the older I get the more mixed emotions there are surrounding the day.

I think of my sweet friends who began to think of themselves as parents as their first pregnancy progressed… and then a devastating loss. And suddenly Father’s Day is a reminder of the sweet baby they should be holding in their arms instead of that deep ache inside.

I think of children estranged from their fathers because of choices one or both made that brought extremes into the picture.

I think of two families we know who have lost fathers (at ages 41 & 45) in the past month and how those families are experiencing their first Father’s Day without a husband and father present.

I think of three families we don’t know who live in Charleston and who are experiencing their first Father’s Day without fathers present because of senseless violence and racism.

I think of the orphans, the legal orphans, the kids in the foster care system. I think of the children who are abused by fathers and stepfathers. I think of the unwanted children tossed aside by men who never cared to be fathers or who never had a father in their own lives to teach them what fatherhood looks like.

And then I think of the good dads I know. Men who are dedicated to their families. Who love their children. Who are present.

Mixed emotions, I tell you.

I am thankful that I grew up with a father in the home. Not every kid gets that. I’m thankful that when I called my dad yesterday to wish him a happy Father’s Day he told me that he loved me. Not every kid hears that.

My husband no longer has that. He grew up with an amazing dad who loved him. And while physically his dad is still with us, the dementia has taken away so much of him. So when Christopher calls to chat with his dad on Father’s Day, there are no “I love yous” exchanged. Because my sweet husband’s father no longer knows he has a son.

Earlier tonight I asked Christopher how he felt about Father’s Day considering the situation with his dad and this is what he told me:

“It makes me sad that my dad isn’t the man I knew growing up anymore. I miss him. But I’m thankful for the good days. And I know that someday we’ll all be in heaven together and he will be healthy and whole again. I look forward to that.”

To which I responded with a very well articulated sob.

But I think he summed it up well. Because one day heaven will collide with Earth once again and Jesus is coming back. All things will be made right. No more abuse, no more tears, no more loss. And someday Christopher’s father will look him in the eye again and know his son.

Love Rach


24 responses to “Mixed Emotions This Father’s Day

  1. Reblogged this on BeautifulChaos and commented:
    An amazing post! ❤

  2. This post is perfect. I too have mixed emotions about Father’s Day & I am so happy for those who have wonderful dads, stepdads, parents, relatives or whomever they consider a father figure. But there is also a lot of sadness in this world. We have far to go.

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  3. i was dreading yesterday since it was my first without my dad. i couldn’t bear to look at everyone’s posts online. but halfway through the day, i felt happy for them and i felt the love and support from everyone who was thinking of me. definitely a day of mixed emotions

    • You know, I thought of you yesterday and said a little prayer for you. I wasn’t sure if I should let you know or not because everyone grieves differently and some people don’t want to be reminded of why they are grieving. Anyway, I’m so glad you felt so loved and supported by those around you!

  4. I love this post Rach. How compassionate of you to have a heart for the other side of the Father’s Day spectrum.

    This was my first year without my father, and although it was tough for me to not have him around, it was neat to see how God has given me more awareness towards others who never even had a father at all to spend a single Father’s Day with. I’ll be praying for Christopher’s father and for you both, and I can totally relate to what Christopher said about anticipating being with him in heaven. My dad was very physically disabled towards the end, so I am ESPECIALLY looking forward to that too 🙂

  5. What a beautiful post! I have friends who are dealing with their first Father’s Day without their dad and it just breaks me heart.

  6. Hugs to you and to Christopher. This is a very poignant, beautiful post and I appreciate it today. I’m so grateful to my stepdad, who was very good to me growing up and continues to be a great father figure. But Father’s Day also makes my heart ache because my dad passed away on Father’s Day in 2011. It gets a little better each year, but it’s still hard.

    • You know, I actually thought of you yesterday as I was writing this post and I said a prayer for you. In fact, if you see a couple of random searches on your blog, those would be from me looking last night for the post when you blogged about this. I remembered that you called him a cowboy so that’s what I was searching. I was trying to remember how long ago it was. Anyway, I can only imagine how many mixed emotions you must have on Father’s Day as you miss your dad, celebrate with your step-dad, and then look forward to Kevin being a dad so soon. Life is like that, huh? Ups and downs, happy and sad.

  7. That last paragraph…AMEN! This Father’s day was mixed emotions for us too. It was Drew’s first Father’s day without his own Dad, but also his first Father’s day as a father himself. Your husband got it right though…we have to focus on the good times had and then look forward to the good times ahead. XO

  8. I am crying my eyes out over here… 🙂
    I have always been a daddy’s girl, so my heart aches for those who no longer have fathers or who never had the chance to grow up with a loving father like I did.
    I can’t imagine what Christopher is going through. My dad went through it (as my Memere had dementia). And it was so painful, but I think he handled it much like your hubby did. Still, again, I can’t imagine. Sending so many hugs! AND Christopher is right, his dad will be whole again one day, and he’ll hear, “I love you, Son” once again!

    • Your stories about your dad have inspired and encouraged me (the one with the running through the rain comes to mind). He seems like such a great man. Between Nate and your dad, Brady will definitely be growing up with some incredible role models! And I’m so glad that Brady will get to meet the Memere that you remember in heaven someday.

  9. Oh my word, I cried so much reading this! I love your heart for others in different/less ideal situations. It’s so true…it can be such a hard day for people for so many reasons. Praying for you and Christopher…I can’t imagine how difficult that situation would be. I love his perspective, and that we can look forward to seeing our loved ones whole and healthy and complete someday.

  10. You have written all of those emotions out so beautifully. Growing up, I tried to ignore Father’s Day for the most part because my Dad never chose to be part of our lives. This Father’s Day, I found myself way more emotional about it all and I think that is because I see what an awesome father I married. I am so thankful I married a man that is dedicated to loving his family. Such a sweet post, and I loved your husband’s thoughts about his own dad. I can’t imagine what he is going through but he has such a great view of it all.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I will never understand parents who walk away from their children. But I do love hearing what you write about your husband. I’m so glad you married such a good man who is such a good daddy. It’s so good that your kiddos will have such a good dad in their lives.

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  12. Pingback: Mother’s Day Thoughts |

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