Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day in 2011 - A Blog Re-post

I am reposting this from 2011.  Since I originally wrote it, I have found those Christmas plates that I stashed away in 1980 - just last year in fact.  Today I am making chicken salad and chocolate angel food cake with strawberries for my son and his family.  And Happy Father's Day to everyone celebrating.

Sometimes a Difficult Father's Day

I had a meltdown yesterday morning.  The day started out innocently enough with me heading outside at 7:30 to do some landscaping work.

It was a beautiful morning and by ten o'clock I began wondering where everyone was. I was not hearing any neighborhood sounds other than the birds.   Then I thought that maybe everyone was indoors with Dad. 

That got me to thinking about my own father who passed away in 1980.  He died suddenly at the age of 57.  Way too young to go as far as I was concerned. 

I remember my brother-in- law calling on Christmas Eve morning and asking to speak to my husband.  When he hung up the phone, he told me that my father had a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital.  My first thought was 'God, please don't let him suffer'. 

We started getting ready to leave, making arrangements for someone to watch our two young children, ages 3 and 2, (I was pregnant with a Dec 27 due date), and before we had even got close to going, we received a call that he had died in the ambulance.  Well God, you could have given him just a little more time.

Christmas that year, along with my parent's December 26 wedding anniversary, was extremely difficult.  Add in a bad snowstorm and my condition and I was not allowed to attend the funeral.

And then there were the strange things that went along with it. 

1.  When my grandfather died, my Godmother was also pregnant.  He was her father and she did not attend his funeral either.

2.  When my father-in-law died seven months earlier, my mother-in-law gave us the wall clock we had given him.  The battery in it stopped working at the precise time my father was pronounced dead.

3.  I was bemoaning the fact that I only had five dessert plate for Christmas dinner, when I needed six.  And then suddenly, there were only five adults for dinner.  I eventually got rid of the plates as though they were some bad omen.

So, there I was on Father's Day reading the paper, with testimonials to the 'Greatest Dads', and all of these thoughts just came rolling through my head.  It probably did not help that I had just written a blog about old songs, including the song 'When October Goes'.  If you did not listen to the lyrics, do so when you are feeling upbeat.  It is a sad song.

And the next thing I knew, the tears were just rolling down.  I got myself together and sat down at this computer to blog and before I did anything I spotted an online story by Marlo Thomas about Father's Day with no Dad to share it with.  Just what I needed.  Tears again.

I miss my Dad.  He was my number one cheerleader and source of support.  He gave me the best gift any Dad ever could:  He loved me unconditionally, always encouraged me in my endeavors, and never criticized.  He worshiped his grandsons and they loved him back.  They were devastated when they lost him. 

I know there are many of you you may also spend both Father's and Mother's Day, and of course Grandparent's Day, with no one to share it with.  They are sometimes 'difficult days'.


  1. So hard to lose a parent and though I was closer to my Mom, my Dad's death about broke my heart.

  2. The clock stopping is wild. It must have been so tough to deal with the death of stour dad and your inability to be at the funeral but I bet he is ok with that because your health is most important. It's always nice to remember one's dad. I light a candle and remember fond memories

  3. Those days can be difficult, Denise, yes. I try to remember them fondly (my Mom and Dad) but sometimes the tears come, even after all these years. Hope you had a good Father's Day today.

  4. So many little things can set off those emotions, and then sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring to remind us by throwing things in our faces. It may be a song on the radio, a storyline in a tv show, or just a story someone tells and it can crack our emotional reserves. Be kind to yourself this week.

  5. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Denise. That is tough. It's difficult for me too, but for a different reason. My dad was quite abusive when I was growing up. I've forgiven him, as much as one can, but our relationship is still awkward. Trying to find a suitable, non-gushy card is a nightmare.


  6. Thank you for this post, Denise. I can relate. My father died suddenly at age 60 ( I was 20 and at school overseas). Missed the funeral.
    When my mother died 10 years ago this August after a heartbreaking bout of progressive dementia, my wristwatch stopped at the same time her heart stopped. I could never explain it, but maybe I don't have to.

  7. Thank you, Denise, for posting something I think needed to be said. Every mother/father's day at church we hear these sermons about wonderful fathers/mothers and I wonder what those in the pews who had abusive or absent parents feel about that. I appreciate your sensitivity.

  8. Beautiful post. My folks are gone now - everyone in my birth family gone except me. All died way too young. Special days bother me. I try and treat them normal...whatever normal is.

  9. My father died about 15 years ago. Fortunately we had nice dinner with the son who lives in Chicago, and a good phone call from the other one.


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