I Never Thought I’d Say, “Happy Father’s Day”

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I Never Thought I’d Say, “Happy Father’s Day”

Honestly, a year ago I wouldn’t know where to begin or why I
should say, “Happy Father’s Day” to my dad. There weren’t too
many happy days when I was growing up. There were disappointing
days, angry days, lonely days, and days I found it very hard to
love my dad.

Dad was an alcoholic. He’d start drinking first thing in the morning
and most times well into the night…if he didn’t pass out first.

I think about all the times we missed together. The fishing trips.
Camping out under the stars. Basketball in the driveway after dinner.
Listening to his stories at night just before I’d nod off to sleep. All those
days, those years, those memorable moments, gone, in a flash.

I catch a tear as it slowly makes its way down my cheek and I think
about what could have been. I felt so isolated, so confused, and so
uncertain about the future and whether I’d ever have a real dad who
cared about me, taught me life lessons that I’d carry into my life
and share them with my son as he grew up to become a man.

Well…fast forward to a year later as my dad and I found ourselves
sharing the beauty and wonder of dawn’s first light. That moment
when everything’s awakening and the sun slowly chases the last
moments of night away. And dad and I are quietly fishing as our
small boat makes its way through the still, glasslike water and we
wait for that first strike.

It’s Father’s Day. Yes, it is! And I am the happiest guy in the world.
A year ago today, my dad, with my mom’s encouragement, got himself
into a program and he went through the tough steps of recovery.
I was so proud of my dad even though I knew there were days he wanted
to give up, to walk out and never come back. But he fought his overwhelming
desire to have a drink because he knew he’d lose mom and me forever.

So today, I can honestly say the four words I never thought I would say,
“Happy Father’s Day, dad.” Your son.