Today marks the third Father’s Day without Papi. It is still very weird not being able to call him and say Happy Father’s Day! However, even death has a silver lining. In these past three years I’ve become aware of how in our culture Father’s are kind of thrown to the curb while Mother’s get more importance. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking down Moms, I just think Dads should be just as honored. I feel like Dads get the leftovers of Mother’s Day.
So I lead this one woman charge to change this perception among my friends, and eventually instill it in my kids – that they appreciate and honor us BOTH as EQUALS. After all parents are EQUALS albeit different in their roles but equal in their importance.
See we both know what it is to loose a father, so I guess we have a better view of the importance of the father role. Alan lost his Dad at the age of 14, and it still haunts him that some of the memories are not there. However, he, like me, cherishes every memento, every memory, everything that he has of his Dad – photos, stories, even his Dads glasses! (I have Papi’s too!)
If you have your Dad still alive, treat him well today. Treat him just as good as you treated your Mom on mother’s day! I was lucky enough to have mine for 36 years, and to have spent Father’s Day with him in 2004, and many lunches in 2005. See Papi and I had a ritual. I went to visit him and I’d always take him to lunch to what became his favorite restaurant (and was always mine too!) Metropol. Funny thing, I invited and he paid. That was Papi. Here is a picture of our last meeting, and the last picture I have of him alive.
As I near the end of my PhD degree, and the dissertation defense and hence graduation, becomes clearer, his absence grows huge. Papi was a big advocate of higher education, and he was really proud of my academic achievements. While he didn’t necessarily agree with my decision to not work while pursuing the PhD (he didn’t really understand the demands of the program), if I was happy, he was happy. And that was enough for me.
Not a day goes by that he doesn’t make it into my thoughts, and I’m reminded of his importance (and therefore how much I miss him) in my life warts and all!