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To the Kids Missing Their Dads and the Dads Missing Their Kids

Father's Day brings out a lot of feels...for some, feelings of celebration and joy, for others, feelings of nostalgia, sadness or even regret. The "family centered" holidays can be very difficult for many who are not living it up with loved ones when Father's Day rolls around. I am one of the kids missing their dad today. Although he has been gone for the past 7 Father's Days, my love for him is as strong as it was back in the days when I could sit on his lap. I am the cozy child on the right, leaning back into my daddy's arms. Growing up, we never "grew out" of calling him "Daddy". He never changed to "Dad" or "Father" or any other title.

Well, I guess that is not true. He became "Grandpa" when my son was born. This photo was from back when my mom and dad had only 3 kids. The family kept growing until there were 7 of us...4 boys and 3 girls.

We grew up watching black and white TV, playing hide and seek and riding our bikes around the neighborhood between baseball and kickball games in our back yard. Some of my favorite memories are of when my mom would pack up a picnic and we would all pile in the car and go to the park. Yes, we all fit in one was long before car seats!

As I think about my daddy today and I miss him, I think of the many children who are missing their dads today. Some are grown up like me, and their dads have passed away. For them, I hope today is a day to reflect on fond memories and silly stories of good times with their dads.

My heart hurts for dads who want to be with their children today but cannot due to situations and circumstances beyond of their control. I hurt for the dads and for their children, hoping that whatever separates them can be repaired soon. For those yearning for a deeper connection to their fathers or their children, my hope for you is that the connection they seek will begin to grow. Keep reaching out. Just as there is no perfect child, there is no perfect mom or perfect dad. We all stumble along the way. Love is getting up and trying again.

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