Whether your kids are human or furry, enjoy your special day!
Father’s Day can be bittersweet for those of us whose fathers are no longer with us. My dad passed away 16 years ago, but I still get a little sad each year when Father’s Day comes around.
One thing that was always a “problem” with Father’s Day once I moved to the US was that the holiday is celebrated on a different day in Germany. Germany’s “Vatertag” coincides with Ascension Day (Himmelfahrt), which is a national holiday, and it’s usually two or three weeks ahead of when we celebrate Father’s Day in the US. There were a few years when I simply forgot about this difference, and I always felt horrible when I realized I’d forgotten to call my dad on Vatertag. Thankfully, he never had a problem with getting to celebrate later than the rest of German fathers – if anything, I think maybe it made him feel a little special.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad lately. He and my mom lived through so much hardship during World War II and the aftermath, and they came through it with such courage and grace, and built a wonderful life for themselves and for me. On days when I think I can’t stand this pandemic induced isolation and fear and worry for one more day, I think about how they lived through six years of war (my dad served on the Russian front until he was injured,) and several more years of rebuilding before things returned to normal. And somehow, sitting in my safe, comfortable home, with all the food I could ever want, and technology that allows me to connect with friends around the world, things don’t seem so bad compared to what he lived through.
If you still have your father, tell him that you love him today. If you are a father, enjoy your special day! And if your dad is no longer with you, I hope your day is filled with precious memories of your time together.