This is my first Father’s Day since my Dad passed away.
I’ve already made it through my first birthday and Easter; both of which happened in the same week. Leading up to that week, I found myself stressed and agitated for no apparent reason. A co-worker finally pointed out I was thinking about my Dad.
Forgetfulness is a terrible part of losing a parent. Forgetting he’s not there. Forgetting I can’t celebrate with him. Forgetting I won’t talk to him again. For me, the death of a my Dad weighs heavily on me, but I easily forget the burden I’m carrying.
After that reality, I decided I was going to face my first Father’s Day on my own terms with activities celebrating my connection with my Dad.
On summer family trips, my Dad would take my sister and I to McDonald’s for breakfast while my mom slept in. On one particular trip to San Antonio, we visited a McDonald’s near the River Walk. This wasn’t your typical McDonald’s drive thru restaurant; it was set in an older brick building, and had more character than your typical Mickey D’s.
I’m pretty sure this was also my first experience with Monopoly at McDonald’s! And, until now, I don’t think I’ve ever associated my love for Monopoly with this particular memory. Years ago, I used to collect Monopoly boards. While I’ve gotten rid of many of them. I still maintain a decent collection of boards today.
Of course, no Father’s Day plan will be complete without a book. For this and subsequent Father’s Days, I am planning to start a book. This year it will be Dark Angel by one of our favorite authors, John Sandford. My dad used to grab random paperbacks in the airport when he was traveling for work. Shortly after I started reading, my mother, sister and I were taking a trip to College Station to visit my brother. I did not have a book at the time, and ransacked the house looking for something to read, I found Silent Prey in my dad’s bedside chest of drawers.
Since that discovery, I have read over fifty John Sandford books, making him the author of the most books in my library. The Prey books, featuring Lucas Davenport, are Sandford’s main series, but I think Dad was more fond of the spin-off series featuring Virgil “that fu**in” Flowers.
So my plan is to wake up Sunday morning, and take the bus to a nearby McDonald’s for breakfast and reading then head home for some pool time with more reading.
I’m not sure how this plan will work itself out. It’s going to be very hard opening THAT book on THAT day. When I got in the pool for the first time this year, I started crying. Why? My daily swims were also a time to chat with my Dad. When that ritual was interrupted for the first time, I lost it.
Overall, I’m excited about my plan, and know I will be celebrating my Dad in a way that will make him smile down upon me from above.