This year Fathers Day falls on Sunday June 19th. Fathers Day has always been bittersweet for me as the last time I celebrated with my dad was forty years ago. Four decades ago. Yes, I’ve been without a father for most of my life.
As a young child I recall making cards both at school and at home to honor this day. There was no hype for electronics as gifts in those days. Commercialization had not yet invaded this day. I know my dad treasured these handmade cards, and he enjoyed spending the day with his family. We would often barbecue with my Auntie Jan and Uncle Harry and my cousins. I have some great memories of these times.
My dad was a self-made man who dropped out of school at age fourteen to run the family business when his own father became seriously ill. He supported his family and all three of his younger siblings were able to go to university due to his efforts.
My dad taught me how to skate, ride a bike and drive a car. He always found time to toss a ball around with me or push me on a swing. But more importantly, he instilled values in me that I have passed on to my own children – the importance of education and development of a solid work ethic.
Sadly my dad never lived to meet his grandchildren. And my children missed out on having a wonderful, loving grandfather in their lives.
June 19th is also the anniversary of my mom’s death twenty years ago. So this Sunday is a double whammy for me. My children were fortunate in having a grandmother in their lives in their formative years, but we were all shocked and saddened when my mom passed away suddenly two months before my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah.
Here in Mexico, Fathers Day is not celebrated with the same relish and enthusiasm as Mothers Day. Commercialization is not as dominant as in the USA or Canada. If I were back in Canada, a visit to the cemetery would be an important part of my day. Instead, a virtual visit is in order as I have photos of the grave sites on my computer.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad, my hero in heaven!