Father’s Day isn’t the easiest day to celebrate when you have lost your dad, although these days, some of my sadness is replaced by being able to celebrate my favorite dad, Troy Haley, who surprises me every day with how deeply he loves his daughters.
Still, the day makes me think of my dad and what struck me this year is something that he said to me in the early days of his illness. For those who don’t know, my father had brain cancer and because every square inch of your brain does something specific, my father’s cancer affected his personality and short-term memory. So when he was sick, we could easily talk for days about things that had happened many years ago.
One night we were walking to dinner and he was telling me how he knew that he wasn’t always the perfect dad but watching my siblings (who were walking ahead of us) and seeing their success gave him great comfort that he had done some things right. He regaled me with tales of our childhood and his happiness that none of us had gotten into any major trouble, if you know what I mean.
And it reminds me that in the end, it’s really all we’re trying to do as parents. We want our kids to be kind, happy, curious, funny, warm… and we just want them to know how much we love them. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be present and do everything we can to make sure that as we grow old, we know they will be ok on their own.
Happy Father’s Day, dads. Especially to the man who continues to watch over me. I miss you every day.