Monday, June 21, 2010

A Reflection on Father's Day

Our Father, who are in nature.Image by Brian Indrelunas via Flickr

We don't really celebrate Father's Day in our house.

Sure, I make a big deal about Mother's Day because I want to be a mom. But my husband Robert seems content with the way things are. That is, I have never heard him express any regrets about not being a father. That's probably because, as he said to me before we got married, "I figured if the woman I married wanted to have kids, we would have kids. If she didn't, we wouldn't."

I call Robert
Dad when we do things with the dogs like, "Dad, the boys need to go outside for a potty break." and "Dad, say goodbye to the boys before you go." He seems to get a kick out of it. I've not-so-secretly been priming him to be a parent with an assortment of pets and I think that if the universe allows it to happen, he would make a great Dad. But he won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

My own Dad died six years ago. I want to say that I miss him, which I do, but not enough to wish he was still alive, living with Alzheimer's disease. Today I realize that the eight years I helped take care of him really took a toll on me too. I still have a hard time remembering him before Alzheimer's slowly started taking him away. It's like his illness robbed me of some of my memories too. I hoped that with time some of those memories would return, but I feel like that really hasn't happened yet.

I also just realized that I never went to see the plaque on my Dad's grave. I suddenly feel the need to find the time to go visit him there.

Then, of all things, I saw someone tweet this joke on Twitter Sunday:
@Jesus - Oh my God, I totally forgot it's Father's Day!
It's interesting to note that original celebrations of Father's Day were actually associated with St. Joseph's Day, March 19, a Catholic saint feast day honoring the earthly father of Jesus. Which got me thinking about my lack of attention to my religious life. I am one of those lax Catholics the active ones pray for each Sunday and I am O.K. with it.

I recently dug up the family trees I possess on my family and found that a lot of my relatives were actually Lutheran, not Catholic. At one point in time, I considered converting to Lutheranism, simply because I am disillusioned with the Catholic Church. I simply don't want my religion to make me a hypocrite: believe in one thing but feel compelled to do another.

Although, to be honest, I really don't need a religion to have a relationship with God.

So I guess I do have an odd assortment of fathers to celebrate and be thankful for on Father's Day. Too bad I didn't realize that a few hours ago. Happy Belated Father's Day Robert, Dad and God. Robert, me and the boys will do something special for you this week to make up for our lack of extra special attention for you this past Sunday. Dad, you are always in my heart. God, perhaps I need to get reacquainted.

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