A Reflection On My First Father’s Day Without Dad

I’ve been off the grid for a couple months or so as I have been going through some stuff. My old man passed away in April and my life just hasn’t been the same since. This is my first Fathers day without him and boy has it been a doozy.

A little background about my old man: My dad had one arm and one leg. He was in a motorcycle accident before I was born and wound up in a coma for a few months before telling death to go fuck right off. Because of the accident, he had something called phantom pain and boy was it a bitch. He would tell me how excruciating the pain was that he had to live through every day, but he did it. Why? Because he was a fucking bad ass. He couldn’t work because of the pain so his primary job was being my best friend and he was the best at it. This guy never EVER missed a game, a practice, anything. I can’t tell you how many times he’d be arguing with my mom about cruising through a snow storm to get to a rink. Fun fact, I broke his big toe (his only one) twice pitching out in the backyard and you better believe the next day he was back and ready for some more.

As the years went on, so did our interests, and we became the biggest Rangers fans on planet Earth. I can literally count on two hands how many games my dad and I missed watching a game together. It got to a point that whenever a new girl would come into my life I’d have to let them know right then and there that if the Rangers were on, I was hanging with my guy. We’d stay up all night pounding Stewarts Deli Dogs and watching the boys in blue and I wouldn’t trade those nights for the world.

Speaking of girls, I’ve never seen someone love somebody so absolute than my Dad did my Mom. He would do anything for her. When I was in high school my Mom had a heart attack and every day from that moment on my dad would drive my mom to and from work. Did he have to? No, but he sure as hell wanted to…They’d spend my Mom’s days off at my Uncle’s where my mom would ride her horse while my dad would just post up to make sure she was okay. They seriously had a love you would see in fairytales.

Now that he’s not here I’ve had to grow up a bit, I’m not Peter Pan anymore. I’ve learned first hand that you need to mow the lawn more than 3 times a summer. I’ve learned to turn off an electrical line before digging a trench for it. I’ve learned how to operate his big John Deere tractor that he loved so much. The not knowing how to do something isn’t all that bad, because now either myself or Doreen can figure it out. The hardest part is knowing that I’ll never be able to have another conversation with him. The hardest part is knowing that he won’t be at my wedding or that he won’t be a grandfather. My future children are robbed of his love.

My dad was the strongest, hardest working, stubborn, kindest, most genuine person you would ever meet in your life. I’d give anything, literally anything just to have a 30 second conversation with him, tell him I love him one more time, to tell him that I’ll do what I can to make sure my Mom is alright. It sucks, it’s not fair, but all you gotta do is take it one day at a time. So those of you who still have your dad, get out there and let him know how badass he is. Tell him how much you appreciate all the little things in life he has done for you. He may already know it, but he sure would love to hear it one more time. Because dads are the best.

 

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