Happy Father's Day
Author: Terry Meyer
Happy Father's Day. It used to be.
I can recall few details about each one I experienced, but I do remember it being special because either the kids were still at home and we did something special, or the kids were grown and I would receive a special phone call and good conversation with them. Either way, it was a day that reminded me of the special blessings that come from having children and carrying the honored title of "Dad."
I remember Father's Day from 2007. My son and I used to spend special time together by smoking cigars and talking about how we could cure all the world's ills. That year Brandon bought me one of my favorite cigars. I already had some, and I thought his was too special to smoke, so I kept it safe for another day. Thankfully, my daughter had other, less destructive, vices to share with her dad.
That's all I can recall. Our family just had a nice time together and it could not have been better. Brandon had just finished basic training and was headed to Ft. Carson. I was apprehensive, but grateful for his courage. Months went by and Brandon grew into an incredible young man. He was becoming his own man. He married and I just knew he was going to be a wonderful father one day. Then the surge came. He was deployed to Mosul, Iraq, on December 3, 2007. He made it to Mosul. He was only there two weeks before he was killed on January 28, 2008. Everything went blank. Father's Day has never been the same. I dread it every year. It's just too much. But I still have a daughter who is trying to find her way. How selfish of me to feel this way.
Happy Father's Day. It can be.
I miss hearing his voice, his laugh, and his perfect spiral when throwing the football. But I know I will see him again one day. I know where he is and who he is with. I know the love of a courageous and beautiful daughter who continues to inspire her dad (or "dude" or "bro" depending on the day) and the love of a faithful wife. I am learning to live with wonderful friends and colleagues who fill many of the deep crevices left by the loss of Brandon.
Happy Father's Day. It is.
This is not because any of us have to put our grief or struggles aside. Rather, we embrace these moments because we have known a love that has no equal. We have had the high honor of having children, even if for only a short time. Without them we do not have such an honor. Maybe Father's Day is more about them than it is about us. In some way, maybe through our living they continue to live.
So on this Father's Day I will make that call to my daughter to thank her for being my inspiration for another tomorrow. I will smoke that special cigar and consider the actions I can take to make the world a better place. I will throw that football (wobbly, of course) and I will remember that smile and silly laugh. And I won't be afraid to let my eyes fill with tears of joy in the journey as I look forward to living each day as Brandon and Desiree's "Dad."