I came across this column while doing research for another story. After I read it, I realized there was just no better way to say how I feel about the upcoming holiday.
Happy Father’s Day to you all. I hope you dads enjoy your day in the spotlight.
My father has been gone now for 14 years. There still isn’t a week that passes that I don’t think about him and wish I could share my hopes, joys and sorrows with him.
One of the things that has stuck in my mind is my father’s hands.
They were very capable and strong. The nails had grease under them from his long days working under the hood of a car. There must be a point when it just doesn’t come off anymore. The knuckles were often knicked from a slipped wrench or screwdriver and the palms were calloused.
Those hands held my mother’s when they were married and then my brother and sister when they were born. Those hands held me when I came along.
Those hands built our garage, added on the mud room and renovated our attic when I came along so my sister and I could have our own bedrooms.
Those hands put fish worms on my hook because I was too squeamish to do it myself. Then they took off the fish I caught and at times filleted them for us to eat.
Those hands built our cottage in Michigan that provided us with a vacation destination most weekends in the summer for nearly 20 years.
Those hands clapped for me during band and choir concerts, after half-time shows during football season and during my high school graduation.
Those hands then tentatively held my son when he was born. He said he was afraid because Cameron was so small. They also held him for the first two years of his life as he rocked him to sleep while I worked second or third shift.
Those hands were on my son’s back as he learned to ride his first two-wheel bicycle. I can still hear him shout encouragement as Cameron careened down the sidewalk, wobbling from side to side and squealing with delight.
Those hands rested on my shoulders when he knew I needed to talk.
Those hands shook my fiancé’s when they met for the first time so many years ago.
At the end, those hands trembled with fatigue from the many chemotherapy and radiation treatments to fight the tumors that were growing in his brain. They were held, rubbed and patted to let him know we were by his side like he had been for us so many times.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you.