Father’s Day.

The annual celebration of all y’all fishin’, baseball throwin;’, “listen to your mama” sayin’ gentlemen. A day of recognition for all of the endless attempts at putting hair in a ponytail,  ” I got your nosing”, and trying to raise us the right way. A day of reflection on what we had, have, and look forward to having together.

I was blessed with a Father that most people would only dream of having. A dad that not only understood me completely, but also loved every person as their own. A dad that was strong willed, taught me right from wrong, and punished me when I deserved it. A dad that instilled in me the importance of hard work, dedication, commitment, and self-worth. I was given a leader, someone that not only loved me but taught me how to value another person’s love in my heart. I have countless memories of long days at practice in the GA summer heat when he did not miss a single one- in fact often we stayed late because he was busy talking with everyone else. I remember tons of little things as such, and much like you I cherish the moments of tenderness and affection most fathers give to their children. I remember being allowed to skip school and go to water parks as long as mom never found out. And all the birthday celebrations he missed because he was out of town working- which meant I got more presents. I remember every single Christmas morning being woken up by a tug on the foot and a smile wide from ear to ear. I remember our last Thanksgiving together being forced to take family photos (that I treasure more than words can express now) in matching clothes. I remember every single Valentine’s Day that I was reminded that no matter who I marry, he will never love me as much as you did. And I remember every Father’s Day doing the same routine- church, fried chicken, family tennis.

I remember growing up really fast when I had to hold mom’s hand to tell you goodbye for the last time.

Father’s Day is such a bittersweet celebration. As those of you who may have lost a mother, I believe you would feel the same about Mother’s Day. Some days I am bitter at loss and must remind myself how lucky I am to share such memories in my heart with my angel above. Some days I honestly don’t understand why it was my dad’s time to go rather than someone else’s. (not that I would ever wish that upon anyone ever). And some days I really just get mad that I don’t have him here to talk to in person.

Although there are sour times, I am often reminded of the sweetest memories to help me through. Every Father’s Day I am reminded of the easy days, the sad days, the days I really earned that whoopin’, and the days spent laughing together. I am reminded by songs on the radio, smells in a kitchen, and sunsets that life’s gonna keep passing by, and I have to live it. I celebrate Father’s Day for all the awesome dads out there grillin’ like mad men and rocking visors that match their shorts.

I celebrate the dads who don’t have it all figured out yet. The new ones that are at their wits end, freaking out, and stressed to the max. It’s going to be alright- you will figure it out.

I celebrate the dads who never figured it out. You may have messed up more times than not, but you tried.

I also celebrate Father’s Day everyday and not just once a year. I learned from my old man that there should never be a day that passes without letting people know you appreciate them, love them, or care for them. You may have to swallow some pride, but that is more important than taking someone for granted.

So, here’s to all y’all BBQ Freaks out there just waiting to light that grill. Happy Father’s Day, Dads!

And to those of you celebrating an angel above, know that they are so proud of who you are growing to be and with all their might they would hug you and never let you go. xox

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