Today marks our third Father’s Day without you. Three isn’t a big number, but it’s the days in between those years that have been long.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been bombarded with ads for the perfect gift: a tool set from a hardware store, a particular golf club to help you improve your swing, a pair of pants to improve your style. (For the record, you were always the nicest dressed man I knew.)
The painful absence of your loss has made me realize there’s only one gift that matters and it’s something you can’t buy at a hardware store – the gift of more time.
While you’ve given the gift of time to three other men through your donation, it doesn’t change the fact that I’d give up a lot of things just to have you back for a few moments.
That being said, I’ve made it a priority to not be regretful for the time we didn’t have, but be appreciative for what we did. In the 24 years I had you in my life, I remember you saying countless times “not every little kid/teen/girl has what you do.”
The older I get and the more people I meet, I realize how true this statement is. Not everyone was able to participate in a sport each year that cost the equivalent of a new vehicle. Not everyone had the opportunity to go on family vacations, sometimes more than once a year. Not everyone was fortunate to have a relationship with their Dad like I had with you.
Just because your accident took you away from us doesn’t mean that our memories are gone, too.
I still remember you coming home from work and opening your arms for a famous bear hug. No matter how bad your day was, you always made us feel like we were the most important part. When I think about it hard enough, I can still smell your cologne and feel your arms around me.
As a child, I learned from you – how to sing AC/DC before I could recite the alphabet, how to give cheeky replies, and how to get exactly what I wanted with a simple “pretty please”. (You never could say no…)
As an adult, I learned to appreciate you both as a father and as a friend. Through your mistakes, you taught me the importance of accountability and forgiveness.
I credit you entirely for my addiction to chocolate, teaching me to speak my mind even when sometimes I shouldn’t, my love of classic rock, and my
inappropriate off-colour sense of humour.
You taught me not to settle and to always strive for what I deserved – in love, in work, in school, in life. Your untimely passing reminds me every day about how short life can be and I’m trying not to take anything for granted.
I hope you know how much you meant to me – to all of us – and that you’re desperately missed every moment of every day. While I’m slightly envious of all of the girls and women who get to spend time with their dads today, I know that there are people who are just envious of me and the incredible memories I have.
I hope you’re as proud of us as we are of you. The four of us continue to keep your legacy alive, while diligently – albeit slowly – building our own. How great will ours be? Well, you never can tell with bees.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.