My Journey To Reclaiming Father’s Day

I tried so hard to get my thoughts onto paper yesterday, on Father’s Day.

I sat down, pen in hand, on more than one occasion wanting, yearning, to get my thoughts and feelings out. Alas, the page stayed blank…minus a few teardrop stains from the overwhelming emotions I felt taking over and bubbling out in the form of exasperated tears.

Father’s Day has always been an emotional one for me. My father left when I was very young, and I have no memories whatsoever of him. I mean, I have a few pictures that I’ve held onto through the years and my multiple cross-country moves…but memories? Yeah – I don’t have any of those.

Reclaiming Father's Day

One of the last pictures ever taken with my father

Sure, I had “father-figures” growing up, but besides my grandfather (my hero) these so-called “father figures” were, how should I say this without sounding rude….umm, they were not so great. I’m just going to leave it at that, because that’s a whole ‘nother blog post and one I most certainly cannot get into right now.

…anyways.

Father's Day Father Figure

Grandpa and Baby Jenn Jenn

I know I am lucky and fortunate to have had such an amazing grandfather, at least. He was warm, and caring – and incredibly supportive. One of the smartest and funniest people I have ever know – and I’m so grateful to have had the bond that he and I shared. Though he may be gone – he will always be my hero.

Scrolling through social media feeds this past weekend, more often than not I saw happy Father’s Day posts. People enjoying their time with their fathers, or remembering them in beautiful way – celebrating all these men have done for them. It was both heartwarming, and heart breaking. On one hand – I’m so happy to see so many people being able to celebrate their amazing fathers…but on the other, I was jealous.

Father’s Day was always a tricky one for me.

When I was younger, the kids in school would be making arts and crafts pieces for their fathers on Father’s Day and I always felt left out. Then, as I got older, and I found out my father passed away – that anger I once held towards him turned to sadness. I would never have a father-daughter dance at my wedding. I would never have the opportunity to create those father-daughter memories I yearned for. I would never have a chance to tell him I forgive him.

Over the past while, things have shifted for me. I find myself thinking more and more about the future, and less about the past. While yes, there were times that I felt that pang of sadness on Father’s Day this year – I was more so thinking about the future.

As plans for starting a family of our own are slowly becoming more of a reality than the dream I had always hoped for, my heart fills with happiness at the thought of reclaiming Father’s Day. It’ll no longer be a day of sadness. From this point forward, it’ll be a day of hope. One where hopefully one day, a child of our own will be able to enjoy it like I never could. One where the man of my dreams, who became my best friend and reality, will be celebrated for being the amazing man he is, and father that he hopefully one day will be.

I cannot change the past. What happened, has happened. Truthfully, I’m grateful for everything that has ever happened to me because through all of THAT – I have become who I am today. So, while I cannot change the past, I can work hard to ensure that my future family has every opportunity that I didn’t. And that my future children will have the relationship with their father that I never had with mine.