Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

For practically my entire life, Father's Day was celebrated the same way. We'd wake up early, excited to be on vacation. It was always the first morning of vacation. We'd eagerly wait for the bell to ring that it was breakfast time and leave a present at Dad's seat at the table. We'd all eat together: Dad, Mom, the Editor, myself, my paternal grandparents, friends if they were with us, eventually our spouses, and even our kids. All of us at the same table, enjoying a Father's Day breakfast.

After breakfast, the dads would play golf and the girls would go shopping.  By late afternoon, we'd all be back, sitting out at the beach, swimming, reading, enjoying our day together. Dinner would be shared around the same table again. After dinner, we'd mosey out to the porch and sit and talk over coffee, the lake a beautiful backdrop. The night would inevitably end with a bonfire.
That was Father's Day.

This year is different. We no longer take that same vacation and not all of us are together. But at least I will get to share a meal with my dad. It will be lunch instead of breakfast and dinner, but the water will be near (just not quite as close or accessible). I know that having all of us together is what matters, but part of me is crying inside that it's not at Fireside Inn, not the same. Perhaps, deep down, the real problem is that I'm only getting 2 hours with those I love rather than an entire week.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Father's Day and are able to spend it with those you love. For those fathers out there whose children have left them too soon, my heart goes out to you especially. For those children whose fathers are no longer here to celebrate, extra hugs to you as well.

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Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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