ver since December of 2015, I have come to absolutely dread Father’s Day. In fact, I tend to dread all the first half of June. No one should ever have to lose a parent at the age of 22.
Leading up to Father’s Day, I am bombarded with the flood of ads on TV and in my inbox and Hallmark cards in stores. On the day itself, I can’t work up the courage to venture onto social media, as I know all of the sentimental messages and pictures will kill me and remind me that he is not here.
On Father’s Day, I find myself feeling jealous that most people my age still have both of their parents. I also find myself feeling horribly depressed about the fact that on June 7, my parents, Earl and Karen, don’t get to celebrate another year of marriage.
Even though this year will mark my fourth Father’s Day without him, it is still unbearable. Actually, every day is pretty unbearable to be honest. I find myself reminiscing about when he was here and when I could spoil him the way that he deserved. We would always go to his favorite place, Red Robin, so he could order onion rings, a burger and fries.
In his absence, I find myself struggling with what to do on this day. One tradition I have tried out is buying a card for him, even though he will never get to read it. I also try to think about what I would have bought him if he was still here.
Now that I can’t buy him things, instead I try to find something that reminds me of him or pays tribute to him. I then add it to my “daddy shelf,” which is quickly running out of room. Sitting on the shelf today, are his ashes, the flower he wore at my wedding, his favorite Minnesota Wild hat, one of his shirts turned into a pillow, his old fountain pens, a photo of us together when I was young and a lot of other artwork that says things such as, “Because someone we love is in Heaven, there is a little bit of Heaven in our home.”
I suppose one day, if I ever have children, the holiday could once again bring me joy. But I am sure, even after 20 years pass, I will still find myself missing him, like I do every day, on Father’s Day. All I can do now is go shopping with my dogs Frosty and Twinkie, so they can buy their father a Pawther’s Day present.
So this Father’s Day, if you are lucky enough to still have your dad by your side, please honor him and thank him for all he has done for you while you still can.
Shannon Granholm is editor of The Citizen and Quad Community Press.