Sunday, June 19, 2011

Today is Father's Day. In the past I've always called my grandfather. He was my grandpa, my friend, and my surrogate father.  I miss him, oh how I miss him!  (My sister wrote a beautiful tribute here.) When I called last year, he talked with me briefly and then put my grandmother on the phone. She said, “I'm tired, honey. I'm getting ready to go to bed. I love you.” That was pretty much it, it was very short. It was the last time I spoke with her. 5 days later she was taken back to the hospital with pneumonia and one week after that she was gone.

So, today, with no Grandpa to call and nearing the anniversary of Grandma's death... it has been a somber day. Add that to no sleep (Charlie kept me up with kisses and adorable chatter from 2:30-5am!) and my first RS presidency meeting, and it's been a heck of a day.

I'm sorry to my Sweetheart, who probably had a rotten Father's Day. Why does that always happen to him? Every year at church people make a big deal out of Mother's Day (thankfully this year, our speakers admitted to having real mothers, no idolizing), but Father's Day is often all but ignored. It irks me. Why not treat these wonderful, involved men to all the acclaim and praise they deserve?

The world, media, and society in general seem bent on making fathers, men in general, seem like doofuses at best and slimeballs at worst, whose interests lie only in beer, sports, and sex. Until I was in college, I shared that view, counting my grandfather as the one good man I knew (not perfect, but good). I took a class on fathering for my major and in reading, writing, and talking with a good friend, I came to see that I had a deficit view of men. I never knew. I can clearly recall talking with that friend and telling him what I'd just discovered about myself. He was shocked. “You think I'm like that?” My response, “Well, I didn't think you meant to be. But ultimately, you couldn't help it.” How sad is that? Without knowing it, I had viewed all men as scum-waiting-to-happen. They may have good intentions and want to do what was right, but ultimately, they would succumb to their nature and be worthless. I was ashamed of myself.

How many good men do I know? Far more than scum-in-waiting. So, to that friend, Thank you. To my husband, brothers-in-law, father-in-law, and friends, Thank you.

And happy Father's Day. You are loved and appreciated and I am grateful for all that you do, all that you want to do, and all that you can and will do.  And, I promise, next year I'm going to make as big a to-do about Father's Day as you all deserve.

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