Father's need to feel the love too....
I lost my Father in 2015. He had been sick for awhile, and had ended up in a care facility. My Dad was a very tough, old school disciplinarian and "head of the family". I often had trouble choosing a Father's Day card for him because I didn't feel the emotional connection that I had with my Mom. The words seemed too flowery for him.
What I didn't realize, and my Dad certainly didn't realize, was that his tough exterior and his commitment to be strong for the family, made him unapproachable, too. I knew he loved my Mom, but when I watched his eyes sadden as we left our visit with him in the nursing home, I realized just how much she meant to him. He didn't have to be the protector anymore. He was my Dad and her husband. He was alone, and felt every bit of it.
So, what I took from that was that my Dad needed those special Father's Day cards and words, and gifts, just like my Mom did. I wish I had known then. I was always buying my Mom things that she needed or I knew she would like. My Dad rarely said he needed anything but one year I insisted I buy him a new winter coat. After he passed, I found the receipt for the coat in the right pocket. My Dad always kept receipts of special things he loved. I kept his coat for a few years before I gave it to someone in need.
My most special time with my Dad was when I visited him in the hospital and there was just the two of us. We talked and we laughed, and really talked. It was one afternoon. One afternoon over all those years... I hope he knew that I loved him.
This is very personal. You might be asking why I am telling you all this. I just want you to consider how your relationship with your Dad could be different. Some of you I am sure have fabulous relationships with your Dad - I am so happy that you do. But for others, Dad may seem hard to connect with, hard to reach... and sadly, for others their Dad's do not deserve to be in their lives so may also be a day where they need to wrap themselves up in a few words from you.
So, this Father's Day, can I suggest that you write from your heart, even if it is to tell him how you would like your relationship to evolve, that maybe it is time to be a friend instead of a protector? I wish I had written the words and wrapped him up in his very personalized blanket of love... I wish I could tell him that I need a hug and I now know he needs one too.
Under that hard exterior, there is still a heart. A heart most likely longing for connection.
Here are a few of our Father's Day blankets to inspire you. This one is a hand drawn picture of my granddaughter on her Dad's shoulders, walking down a beautiful path in the woods. Unfortunately my son's father is not in his life, but it hasn't made my son any less a father. He is a great Dad!
This one includes the many reasons you might want to thank your Dad. You can always change the reasons to suit your relationship. The tree stands for your family tree, the family roots, and strength.