It takes we a while–usually into the evening–to celebrate Father’s Day. Mine passed away in 1996 of cancer, and I have never been a father, though would like to be. One defining thing of my marriage was the repeated fear around the six pregnancies, all of which ended up badly, with my then-wife’s health in jeopardy (quite seriously twice).
My dad showed up at most of my soccer games in Middle School and likely half in High School, part of which time I was in Delaware. He backed my band, bailed me out of many situations, flew me home from London when my first engagement was clearly over, broke and homeless and hadn’t eaten in weeks, and then flew me home again when England refused me entry (long story).
He backed my first tech company and sat on its tiny board. He showed up at my gigs, hawked my CD to his patients, employees, and fellow docs. I still run into people today who have that CD simply because he talked them into buying it. What a card.
There were over 500 people at his funeral. It was a long line of people, and it took a few hours for them to pass through and express their feelings. My friend Mike broke down in tears, because Dad was one of the few people who had encouraged him and pushed him when he saw him (though Mike would have succeeded on his own steam, clearly).
Apparently I look like him, and sometimes people come up to me to say that, and to say what a great guy he was. He really was. Yes, we fought. Yes, he yelled; back then OB docs spent up to 72 hours on shift, and upon coming home to poorly behaved teenagers didn’t automatically revert to happy awake dad.
So yeah, I miss him.
I don’t know what it is that drives me or any other man to want to be a father; perhaps it’s as simple as the natural need to propagate the species, though I suspect it’s something more, and maybe something self-interested.
Maybe it’s because the fathers my age that I know are better people because of it, and have richer lives. Maybe it’s the community you miss out on because you’re simply not included. Maybe it’s that it possibly represents the product of a marriage going well, or the adoption of a deserving kid, and of course they are all deserving of a loving family. I really don’t know. But maybe someday things will work out, with someone, and maybe we’re lucky and have one, and adopt a few. I think I’d like that.
Have a great Father’s Day. It’s beautiful out there today.