I struggle with posts about great fathers. Mine wasn't one. Consequently, Father's Day is covered in a thin layer of grime. I'm detached from it somehow, not belonging to the club where everyone else is swapping stories how much they love their dads.
Are they allowed to publicly love on and honor their fathers?
One hundred percent.
Can you be sad because your dad is gone or chose to leave?
Can we all do those things at the same time?
We can, and we must.
Father's Day is many things to many people, and there must be space for all of it, the grief and the celebration. So for those of you who struggle when everyone else has a Dad Hero, for those of you without present biological fathers because of physical or emotional loss, I offer this:
Love is stronger than a square on a calendar.
Remember the men in your life who have been a fatherly presence whether they share your blood or not - your best friend's dad who got up early to make you Saturday pancakes, your high school basketball coach who remembered your birthday, the older gentleman at church who pats you on the shoulder every Sunday and asks after your heart.
If Father's Day usually makes you sad, that’s normal and sometimes even good. Grief needs permission to exist just as much as joy does. Grieve the loss of what you no longer have and remember the gift of fatherly energy that exists all around you. Both can exist in the same soul, in yours if you need it.
So happy/bittersweet/sad/lonely/redemptive Father’s Day to you today, no matter how you feel or who fathers you. It all counts.