Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Derrol's an anti-holiday kind of guy unless you're talking the biggies like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. Those he embraces whole-heartedly, especially Christmas. But the other holidays he considers fabricated marketing ploys by Hallmark and related florists, diamond vendors, and generic retailers.

So when it comes to Father's Day, he says "Forget it. It isn't a real holiday."

We always remembered his and my fathers on this day. We attended the get-together his grandmother planned at the Harrod Park for her rapidly expanding family. And he would open the gifts our two sons lavished on him -- ties, VCR tapes, CDs, tools. (Usually the gifts were paid for by Derrol, directly or indirectly.)

But he always behaved like this holiday was not about him.

Now we sit miles away from family and truthfully, holidays don't mean much without family to share them.

Let me set the record straight. Derrol deserves the title Father and the good wishes that go with it, as no other father I know. Of course I know this guy a bit more intimately than any other, so take this endorsement as slightly suspect because I also love this guy.

From the day we married, he shouldered the burden of bread winner. Not because 'I'm a man and you're a woman.' But because he's a responsible kind of guy. We worked together. And when our first child was born, he stepped right up and took on this child's care and comfort without hesitation. That may sound like a given, but not every father does this. He shared the care -- dirty diapers and midnight feeds and all.

He did without to provide for his kids. And yes, he would give his life for his two sons -- and me. Maybe he has.

He gave up his dreams, and worked in a factory to pay the household bills. He gave up his friends, his sports, his weekends on the golf course to be with us, to fix failing appliances, rehab a house, mow the lawn, and provide memories for our kids. He worked days and studied nights to earn a college degree so he would be better prepared to provide for his family.

Whenever our adult sons, who live hundreds of miles away, need help, my thrifty, frugal, accountant husband, reaches for the checkbook and asks, "How much?"

He knows those gifts mean a tighter budget for us, but he wants to see our sons succeed. We both do.

If he were there, he would be helping them rehab their own houses, inviting them over for meals, lending them tools, giving advice and encouragement, sharing sports with them or horror movies, or music. So the only thing left is reach for the check book.

So this Father's Day morning as Derrol sips his coffee, finishes off his cinnamon roll and watches Tim Russert's news show, I wish him good health, a happy day. And with a thankful heart, I say, "Happy Fathers Day" to the only love of my life, the strongest man I know and the best example of fatherhood I have ever seen.

1 comment:

Ruth D~ said...

Beautiful sentiment. This is what life is all about. Wish Derrol Happy Father's Day from me.