I know that dreaded feeling when it sneaks up on you. With the excitement of finals being over, and summer finally being in full swing; with no more late nights filled with homework and Starbucks, but rather with late night swimming and laughter, there's little to no time to realize it's coming. It may be an unexpected trip to Target when you glimpse down the card aisle. It could be a commercial for grills or an ad in the paper for tools, but regardless when it hits you, it paralyzes you. It's three simple words.
"Happy Father's Day"
These words don't hurt most. In fact, most of the time their welcomed so that people can post Instagram pictures of their old man and give him the props he deserves all year. But for you, the son or daughter without a father, it's a debilitating holiday. Whether you lost your dad when you were too young to remember like me, old enough for the memories to be painful like some of my friends, or you never knew your dad like several others, this holiday is difficult. You try to make plans to distract yourself, but most of your friends are going home for a cookout or a family gathering. Then the day comes, and you have to avoid social media because sometimes it just hurts too much to look at.
I promise you that I understand. Please realize that you are not alone. Not ever. Father's Day is a special day, but so is every other day. So take a deep breath. Breathe in deep, in and out. Remind yourself of those still around you. Remind yourself of how deeply loved and cared for you are. Spend time with your father figures. Thank them for being there for you, and don't let this one day ruin your weekend. It's okay. I'm okay. You're okay. I know it isn't easy, but you've made it. You are living a life of purpose and a life filled with potential. Make them proud, and if you don't want to do it for them, then do it for yourself. Go through this day knowing that each person who is fatherless on father's day is right there with you, that our hearts are with yours. If you need to be angry or sad, that's okay. Feel what you need to feel. Keep on breathing. You are okay.
Today, remember the person who helped you become who you are. For me, that's my superhero of a mom, who raised me on her own (If you're reading this mom, thank you for being my dad and my mom. I love you, and I am so thankful to have you as my personal superhero). Maybe that's your story too. Maybe it's an aunt or an uncle, an older sibling, or your grandparents. Today, hug them and thank them for being there because they helped you get where you are. Today does not have to be a burden. Today, you can still be thankful. Today can be a special day for you too, even if it's not in the same way you would expect on Instagram.
And for those with your dads today, hug them a little more and be ever thankful for their presence in your life.
Until Next Year, Friends.