Tag Archives: Dad

Bite Me Hallmark. (or when Father’s Day has outlived its purpose.)

This year is theoretically my twenty-eighth Father’s Day.

I think.

I’m honestly not sure what age my oldest daughter is because, well, I’ve just never paid much attention to timed things like that. I used to. But as I get older… ages, moments, years, anniversaries, and the number of grains of sand on a beach just don’t stick with me like they used to. There must be a name for that.

There must also be a name for that moment when Father’s Day finally outlives its purpose. I mean, I’m still considered via DNA to be a Father per say, but at this point in my life I don’t truly FEEL the part. It’s becoming a little… what’s the word I’m looking for… obligatory. I’d love to tell my three kids adult children offspring that I’m over the cute cards with hammers, golf clubs and cool cars that say what a great Dad I am or was or will be. I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but I’m truly past the ties, the books, the drawings, the rare poem, and the gift cards. Perhaps, they are too.

Looking back, I actually WAS a good Father at one time, and I’m not fishing for support, looking for pats on the back, or soliciting comments about being a parent, however, I am basically expressing the fact that I feel that my role as a Father doesn’t exist for me presently. It’s as if I look back at this other person who played the role quite well at one time but is now not needed for the part. Am I already ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille?

I’m okay with that. At least, I think I am.

In more recent years, I’ve tried doing the phone call thing and attempting to schedule time together, but there were distances, and time restraints, and jobs, and schools, and issues, and there was even a cat in the cradle, but I felt that my trying to push into the moments of growing adults with lives of their own was making me seem almost desperate to remain in their world. I felt like maybe I was pushing too hard, to be what I felt I should be. Just a Dad.

So I stopped. And they stopped too.

I’m still okay with that. At least, I THINK I am. I really love who I have become, where I am, and what I stand for as a pretty genuine person who is finally comfortable with his voice. I guess I’m also okay with those kids that I used to take to every playground in the tri-state area, to swimming lessons, gymnastics, piano lessons, school concerts and plays, field trips, the beach, horseback riding, vacations, graduations, and even a spectacular wedding who have become wonderful people who are all charging ahead in worlds of their own.

So, I’m bowing out of Father’s Day this year, and the next, and the next…

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That FIRST Father’s Day after…

Dad on his boat, where he always seemed to be the happiest.

My Dad passed away last year two days after Christmas of heart failure. It was quick and, according to medical professionals, painless. I’m grateful for that and I believe my Dad would be grateful for that as well. He was a very proud hard–working man’s man who would have found it undignified to have withered away slowly and painfully, having to depend on others for his personal care.

It’s still odd that I can’t pick up the phone to wish him a Happy Father’s Day this first year without him. Something I took for granted. He had JUST learned to “text” from his phone. Something I’m sure he learned in order to stay in touch with his granddaughters. We would exchange text messages and I would always joke with him by teaching him to use emoticons and to sign off with “c u soon!” I’d criticize his typos and he’d LOL. I still have that last Holiday text wish on my phone. I still have his number on my phone as well. I just can’t delete it yet, as he may decide to call me someday if the brimstone and fire haven’t melted his phone yet.

I wanted to get a card for him while I was at the mall last week returning a shirt. I just wanted to get a Father’s Day card and send it SOMEwhere… ANYwhere really. I was frustrated with that a bit. I was also annoyed that the mall was decorated for “DAD’s DAY.” Photos and banners EVERYwhere indicating that Dad deserved this tie or that shirt. How could this “holiday” even go on without my Dad? I remember when I was younger and I would be at the mall with my Dad on the very rare occasion that he would go. I would always get so frustrated because he’d “dawdle.” He wasn’t a shopper. He’d walk so damn slow. It frustrated the hell out of me. I miss it now.

I don’t think any of us ever think our Fathers will leave this world really. We think them indestructible. Honestly, later in life, when I realized he was a mere mortal and full of flaws, I came to love him deeply and unconditionally. The funny thing about that was he did the same to me… accepting my own midlife “crisis” of coming out.

I think he’d find comfort in knowing something that Dad’s RARELY if EVER get to hear while living… “Dad, you did a great job with what you were given. I appreciate you and thank you for that.” Say it to YOURS today and as many other days as you can.

I’ll finish this blurb about my Dad with just a few words to describe him. He was a simple man and I think he’d appreciated this.

Flawed. Funny. Proud. Humble. Hard working. Dedicated. Sailor. Protector. Accepting. Quiet. Confident. Silver Hair. Thick glasses. Over-achiever. Annoying. Loved his family. Cash, never credit. Fast cars. Fast boats. Slow boats. Stubborn. And last but not least… he was a DEVOTED Dallas Cowboys fan from the word GO.

Love you Dad. Miss u much!

Your son,

Edwin Leroy Williams, Jr.

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Today is my Dad’s Birthday…

I guess I should also explain that it’s the FIRST birthday I’m celebrating without him. I don’t even know how old he would have been. I’m like that. He passed away two days after Christmas last year of a stroke. It was a complete surprise.

I don’t feel sad really (that’s a lie because I’ve teared up several times while proofing this), however, I DO miss being able to text him (he JUST learned how to do that about 6 months before his death). I also miss knowing that I just can’t call him to wish him a Happy Birthday.

In our past, we never really had the type of Father-Son connection like you’d see on the Brady Bunch or the Cosby Show. We shared a fairly tumultuous relationship growing up. A lot of yelling and anger were common in our familial world. I wasn’t his perfect son and he really wasn’t what I wanted or expected as a father emotionally (although he ALWAYS provided for us economically).

We actually became estranged for a few years when I discovered he was cheating on my Mom and I thought he was a hypocrite and I also hated him for not being true. It’s funny in retrospect how the more opposite I thought we were, the more we were actually alike.

After many heartfelt conversations as we matured and became somewhat wiser sharing a few well intentioned glasses of deep red wine, we eventually grew away from the resentment and into respecting each other. Dad totally accepted my “lifestyle” after I explained it to him, and it was about at that time that I “forgave” him for his infidelity and subsequent divorce from my Mom several years earlier. We began to see each other as just two men who happened to be Father and Son and who also realized we were not perfect. At the risk of oversimplification, it was truly an epiphany for both of us.

As our lives moved forward, I’d call him about once a month and we’d chat about each other’s jobs a little, he’d ask how my partner, Daryl, was doing. I’d ask him how his health was and how his wife Sharon was and then we’d end the call with the promise to have lunch as soon as MY schedule allowed. My schedule never works for things like that.

I don’t regret words unspoken. We ALWAYS said we loved each other at the end of our conversations.

I think I’m going to do what Daryl and his Mom usually do for his Dad and sister, Jo who passed several years ago; I’m going to release a few helium balloons this evening after work, to the sky… and watch them while I squint until I can’t see them anymore as they sail into the heavens and into my Dad’s arms with wishes of peace.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll once again see his face in mine as I shave in the mirror and grin.

Happy Birthday Dad.

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