As some of you already know Father’s Day in Belgium was last Sunday. My family of three spent it eating and laughing and tiring ourselves out under the welcomed sun. We also ventured out to a local nature park with a zoo and plenty of paths to walk down.
Noah tried to out-walk his dad while hand-in-hand, and one day he probably will but not just quite yet…
Fast forward one week to today where it’s Father’s Day for most of the rest of the whole wide world, and my second Father’s Day this year. Last week I celebrated my husband Davy, and today Davy and I spent the better part of the day with Noah in our garden. Noah shines brightest when he’s out in the sun and fresh air.
In this moment I felt giddy right along with Noah and had an overwhelming feeling of relief. I say relief because I can’t think of a better word so it must be the best word to describe what it was. I felt relief knowing that on this Father’s Day my dad was looking down and feeling giddy with me. He must have because Noah’s purity in glee is infectious to everyone around him, especially to family.
I felt relief knowing that a handful of Father’s Days ago I’m not sure that my dad would have looked down and been happy with where I was…not financially or socially but in my soul. Some series of hard hits in my life had hardened me more than softened me, in the nine years my dad’s been buried. I know that he’s proud of me today on this Father’s Day even if he can’t be here with me physically, to tell me. I realize no matter how hard I’d become in times past, he was always proud of me but wondering when I’d let go of things and people responsible for hardening me.
This Father’s Day, he knows I’ve let go of a lot to be able to receive that much more that is important for any lifetime. My father was the kind of father who always held my hand for as long as I wanted him to even if his hand got sweaty or tired, especially when he felt helpless he couldn’t help me in times of pain. I found this kind of helplessness when my dad had been so weak and near the end, and all I could do was hold his hand until I couldn’t hold it anymore.
Now my days of hand-holding are with the hands of my husband and baby mostly, and walking forward but looking back and feeling more and more at peace. It’s important to look back over your shoulder sometimes, not to long for times past but to reflect on how far you’ve come. We truly are our own worst critics, and it’s not the worst thing to just take a minute and give yourself a break. I’m still learning to give myself more breaks.
I’m grateful for those readers who’ve shared their own life stories with me be it about good fathers or bad ones, or those who never knew their fathers and those who cherish grandfathers. If you need it to be it’s just a Sunday. This day means so many different things for so many different people, and I thank you for all making me more aware. Sharing is as sharing does…enjoy your Sunday.