Today, the greeting card industry (or somebody else) has decided that we must honor dads. I'm feeling surprisingly emotional about it this year.
I don't get to see my dad for Father's Day, at least not this year. Instead, I got to spend time waiting for lunch with my father-in-law slowly getting closer and closer to me, ignoring all rules of personal space, until I needed to walk outside for a few moments to feel like I didn't have someone right on top of me.
But that's not what I want to talk about. I don't feel all that warm and fuzzy about my father-in-law, mostly because he's made it obvious that I'm not fully family and never will be. It's his loss, because I am awesome.
I want to talk about my dad, who loves me no matter what. He's a man who has gone without so that I could live a lot better than he was. He has kept me sheltered, even when it shouldn't have had to be his responsibility. He has offered kind words when I've felt like my life was at it's worst. And other than a little time where I was upset and stressed about my wedding and things said surrounding it, he has always been there for me to talk to.
He has told me that I am one of the 3 best things to come from his marriage to my mother. He has apologized and taken responsibility for his part in how crappy things were when I was a teenager (mostly because he wasn't there day in and day out). He reminded me that I was the kid, so I wasn't to carry any of the blame. He reminded me that the only way my mother can hurt him any now is to hurt us and it frustrates him that she's willing to do that to her own children.
In short, my dad is one of my heroes. He's not perfect, but I don't expect him to be. No matter how hard life hits him, he keeps getting back up and working on doing what is right. He inspires me to be the kind of parent he is now. He isn't afraid to be a strong parent and tell his kids no if they need to hear it. He admits he has a favorite child, but you would never be able to tell it based on his actions.
So, today I wish I could be with my father. I wish I had kids to let him spoil and love. I wish I could make his dreams come true and I could take away his physical pain. But all I can do today, right now, is let him know that I love him and that I hope he has a good day/week/month/year.