Fathers across North America today are celebrating Father’s Day, a day on which fathers are celebrated for the impact they make on their children’s life. I never celebrated one Father’s Day with my dad. Heck, we never really celebrated much of anything during his short life. He has been gone 15 years, and it’s on days like today that I get to wondering what it would have been like to really experience what having a father was all about.
He really was a typical “bon-vivant” and there are parts of his character that I see in myself. I am gregarious and outgoing like he was, and I am a hopeless and incurable flirt and romantic. His impulsivity has been transmitted to me too, and I am trying to learn to channel it in a healthy way.
Whoever my father was, there were at least three good things he did in his life – that was that through him, and my beloved mother, myself and my siblings came into existence. That, and that alone, is reason enough to honour his memory today. For if it were not for him, I wouldn’t be me, and I wouldn’t have my children, and that just does not bear thinking about.
Dad – I have missed you all my life, but now missing you is different. I know you will never be a part of my life. I know that there were so many missed opportunities – on both sides, but I also know that you did your best with the tools you had. I know on some level that you loved me, even if you were never able to express it. I have nothing much to remember you by, except for a few fading memories and even fewer photographs, and the stories we have heard from friends and relatives since your passing. We never really knew you, and I know that I mourn that loss too. I pray that your soul has found peace wherever it is, and that your soul is reunited with that of your dear parents who loved you more than anyone ever loved a child. You were so lucky to have them as your parents. I was so blessed to have them as my grandparents – thank you.
By remembering my father today I am grateful for the chance I had to be with him in his final hours, to have been a part of something so much bigger than myself. I thank G-d that He created my father and through him He created me and through me my children. My father lived a short life, but left a legacy in his children to carry on, and to be the best that we could be. If there is one lesson I can take from my father’s life, it is to live each day to the full, for we never know what tomorrow may bring.
— Hadassah Sabo Milner
Hadassah maintains the In The Pink blog on life and Judaism.