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When Father's Day Becomes Fatherless Day

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I just realized that this will be my second fatherless Father’s Day. I knew the holiday was approaching, but I guess I was subconsciously blocking that fact. I was looking forward to spending the occasion with my husband and kids, and then I just felt sadness. The same sadness that came with that dreadful phone call. My emotions came in hard, like a fastball to the chest.

My daddy was the best daddy a girl could ask for. He loved his kids and worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed as well as almost anything we wanted. He was the cool dad, everyone wanted to hang out at our house. All of my friends were his extra kids and they saw him as a father figure. He was full of guidance and support and wouldn’t judge you for anything. He was a shoulder to cry on and always on time with a joke to cheer you up. He touched the lives of anyone who was fortunate enough to know him.

I was a daddy’s girl from start to finish. For a long time, we were all each other had. We knew everything about each other’s lives and we were always there to lift each other up. We would just hang out for hours on end, no matter how old I got. We watched movies and played chess and just talked. He was my best friend.

He was 56 years old and had been fighting his mental illness for as long as I can remember. His body was failing and his mind was following right behind. I just didn’t suspect it was quite that bad. My daddy lost his battle with depression, on December 8th, 2015 and I lost my hero. I always knew he would go out on his terms, but no one saw it coming so soon.

I always took him out to eat for Father’s Day, usually with his money because he, of course, wouldn’t let me pay. He never wanted anyone to do stuff like that for him, never wanted gifts. He never even cared to get recognition for the things he did for others. I always got him a new pocket knife, or some t-shirt with a funny saying, even though his response was always, “I told ya not to get me nothin!’” I miss those dinners and buying those gifts. Twenty-six Father’s Days were definitely not enough for me.

This holiday will be a tough one, but I will push through for my husband and our girls. I will keep him on my mind and in my heart. I will remember all of the Father’s Days we spent together and I will try my best not to cry, no matter how much it hurts.

Thinkstock image via Maria Kuznetsova.

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Originally published: June 18, 2017
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