At first I wasn't going to write a Father's Day post. Acknowledging this day and not being able to show my dad how much I love him, makes today very hard.
Today is not my first Father's Day without my dad. Since the age of 32, I've had to remember my dad instead of being with my dad. But I know I'm not alone. Others are missing their dad and Father's Day without a father is just plain hard.
I have so many wonderful memories with my dad. At swim meets, running events and triathlon races to academic accomplishments like graduating from college, earning a Master's degree and becoming a Registered Dietitian. And then there are milestones like starting my own business, getting married, adding a dog to our furry family and moving. He was always just a phone call away and I took advantage of that by calling him at least two or three times a day - every single day. He was patient, smart, kind, funny and handy.
While I cherish those moments with my dad and I'm thankful for the person that I was able to call dad for 32 years, it hasn't been easy. Beyond buying our first home, writing three books, adding more furry members to our family, trying to navigate through difficult life circumstances and experiencing personal and athletic accomplishments, it's the big things, little things and everything in between that makes me really miss my dad on Father's Day. I successfully reached adulthood but I still need my dad. It's all those moments and experiences that are the hardest.
I miss my dad every day. This Father's Day is no different. The grief is hard because my love for my dad was so strong. But my dad lived every day to the fullest and never wasted a day. I continue to do the same and know that my dad is still with me, every single day.
If you are missing your dad (or father figure) today - especially if it's your first Father's Day without him - please know that you are not alone. Although grief is painful, love and comfort comes with loss.
It can be hard to find the right words to describe how grateful you are to have had such a great relationship with your dad. Grief can be complicated. But your feelings and emotions are valid. It's ok to "feel" how you feel.
But today, I choose to celebrate what I had with my dad, instead of being sad over what I no longer have. I had 32 incredible years with the best dad on this Earth.