In hopes of some thoughtful words for today…

Dear First Time Dad,

Happy Father’s Day! Today you are celebrated for the first poopy diaper change, the first throw up that went everywhere. You are celebrated for the sleepless nights, the constant noise. But, most of all, you are celebrated for the little guy (or girl) who stares at you in awe and amazement. The same little human who took your heart like no other one could. May you remember all of the firsts, including today, that makes you who you are. We mothers love and appreciate all you are and do.

Dear Dad of many,

You’ve taught many how to juggle five kids jumping on you as you try to fetch something from under the sofa. You’ve taught your oldest the perfect flip of a pancake. You’ve taught your youngest how to wooh the ladies with a bashful look. You’ve been to soccer games, school plays and principal offices. You’ve had to discipline and sneak a candy bar into a room of a child who is in time out. You are heralded as a super hero. Today, may you be celebrated as such. Remember they look to you always as such, don’t ever forget that. Happy Father’s Day.

Dear Dad of the Childless,

You’ve watched your spouse hurt and cry in despair after the multiple miscarriages, still births, or losses after a few days. You’ve held it in being strong for your partner. I want you to remember one thing: it is okay to grieve. Whether it is at a shooting range, a boxing club, on the track. You are allowed to grieve the loss of your child. Just don’t hold it in. Your wife, she wants to  be strong for you too. Allow her. Today is never easy for you, but, you are a father too. And if anyone needs to be celebrated, it is the father’s who’ve had to let their children go too soon. Happy Father’s Day.

Dear Foster Dad,

It isn’t easy with the revolving door of uncertainties in your life. You’ve met so many people who is looking out for the best interest of your little human charge. You’ve realized that these people only come in and out of your human’s life when they want while it is you and your partner who care for them as if they are your own. You, dear dad, are a godsend to these children. They have had all, most or part of their life in disarray. It is your job to love and nurture them while they are under your roof. Don’t give up. You are doing an amazing job. Happy Father’s Day!

Dear Grandpa,

Your children are older but nothing is like getting a hug from a grandchild. They love you and adore you. Your children salute you today. As parents they finally understood the many hours you’ve had to work to put food on the table and the lights on. They finally understand the sacrifice their parents had to make. As they rear up their children they see you in themselves. And it is such an honor for the both of you, a camaraderie of sorts as this new generation begins their lives. We thank you Grandpa, for the road you had to pave. Happy Father’s Day!

Dear Child with no “father,”

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the feelings you have when you see a boy playing catch with his dad or a girl holding hands chattering with her dad. I’m sorry for the feelings of lost and abandonment. I’m sorry for the hurt you’ve had to feel. I pray for peace and healing in your life. I pray that one day someone will walk into your life who will show you how to be a man or show you how a man should treat you. May you always feel loved and wanted, because you are. You were not an accident, you are a beautiful Child of God, the Father who can take all the resentment and anger you feel, and turn it to something beautiful.

Dear Fatherless Child,

Today you feel like half of your heart is missing. You may visit a gravestone today, hold on to the pendant of your dad’s ashes, or strum his “baby” to remember him. Today you will see father’s with their children and long for the man who you thought was invincible. Today your heart aches knowing you will never get to see, hear or feel your father’s love. But, today, I implore you to look up and remember the thousands of memories you’ve made. Remember the times you stood shoulder to shoulder in the kitchen making a special cake for someone. Remember the laughter with rolling on the ground as he tickled you. Remember the times in the park, at the beach, or in the back yard. Though he may not be with you he is not forgotten. And he is so very proud of you. Proud of you picking yourself up and taking a step every day. Proud of the man or woman you have become or are becoming. He loves you dearly. Always and forever.

Dear Step Dad,

Sometimes you feel out-of-place, like the place you are isn’t a place you belong. You came into the family as an outsider. But know, they will appreciate your efforts. They may not know it or say it, but when they are older, when they have seen your sacrifices, the love you had for their mother, they will thank you. Be the best father figure you can possibly be. Love them as your own. Treat them with respect. They may not be comfortable calling you dad and that’s okay. Respect their boundaries and still love them. You are doing an amazing job. Happy Father’s Day!

Today my heart both hurts and is elated. I miss my father with the force of a thousand suns. I celebrate my husband with the love and gratitude that he deserves. Nothing about today will be easy or normal but I know I’m going to spend every minute doing two things:

Celebrating the life of my husband as a father.
Honoring my dad with memories.

Today I hope you find solace in these words. Writing them somehow took the hurting part of my heart and gave me comfort. I hope they do the same for you. If I have missed a father, know that I don’t do it out of disrespect. There are so many fathers out there. And for those who do not have a letter, know that mothers and children out there love and appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made, the sweat you’ve poured to give us a comfortable life. We hope you know, to the moon and back, we love you. xoxo