Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daddy Day

"Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad."

Perhaps that's why I refer to it as "Daddy Day," because I certainly got one of the special ones and so somehow calling it Daddy Days just feels right :)

This is in fact my third "Father's Day" without my daddy. I must admit, it never gets any easier. Actually, it's gotten harder with each year that passes. This is interesting to me and today as I wandered around the Science Center watching kids of all ages laughing with their dads, I wondered why it is this way. 

I see that now is the time in life when we begin to realize the immense value our parents have in our lives. When we are twenty-something, it all starts making sense and the pieces start fitting together and all of a sudden we understand why they did the things they did and we begin to see their heart in it. And this is when we want to tell them how much we appreciate their knowledge and wisdom and all of the sacrifice and when we start knocking down their doors for more of all of it! This is when we want to give back and make up for all of the temper tantrums and rebellious schemes and harsh, emotional words by taking them to dinner and buying them nice things (with money that we have actually earned and not an allowance from their pockets). 

And all of these things I cannot do for or say to my daddy. 

Though he left me when I was hardly twenty-something, when I had begun to realize just how important he was to me and I thought it often how blessed I was to have him as my dad, I wonder if I saw as much before he was gone as I do now that he's not with me, and what worries me even more is if I told him enough and if he knew just how much he really meant to me. 

I can only hope. 

Every year I celebrate my dad by making a trip to the butterfly exhibit at a local science center simply because my daddy LOVED butterflies. I think he loved them because they were pretty but also because there are so many deep life lessons within their frail little existence. 

They teach us that change is necessary to become what we are meant to be and that life is colorful and beautiful but fleeting and also that it's fragile. They teach us to find the sweeter things in life and to embrace the unique things about ourselves that make us who we are. Butterflies show us that though the first time we take flight can be terrifyingly risky it also let's us soar and discover the world around us. We see that life is short and so we must make the most of it and see the world and touch people with our lives before it's over....along with a whole lot of other things...

My daddy's life was a lot like that. It wasn't all that long and it turned out to be more fragile than any of us realized or acknowledge, but it was full of life and love and color and it touched so many people in its time. He floated through changes and transitions and allowed life to make him who he was supposed to be and he did it with grace and with ease. He saw the world and he embraced everyone that came into his path. He moved with caution but he moved also with a spirit of adventure and faith.

If you are twenty-something or twenty-something times a few, and you have the precious opportunity of expressing your love and gratitude to your daddy this year, make sure you do so. Embrace the fact that life is fragile and fleeting but also beautiful and make sure your dad (and everyone precious in your life for that matter) knows just how much they are loved and cared for and appreciated.

Because you won't always be able to, and when you no longer can you will wish that you had :)

Happy Daddy Day! 

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