On this Father’s Day, I remember it was exactly one year ago that my Dad and I spend our last “real” time together. We had a great week, hanging out together, me and him, and despite the cloud of sadness that hung over us as it was just the two of us because my mother had died a mere 3 months prior, we did have a most excellent time. Dad and daughter time.
We went for breakfast at St Andrews on the Lake, a beautiful 9 hole golf course up in the hills. After, we drove though the back roads and looked at some land that was for sale and we even hiked up a ways to see if the view was worth the price! He did not seem ill at all. Just defeated. But he was definitely trying his best to not to show it.
We did mindless errands on that weekend, picking up things, and dropping things off, and stopping for ice cream at the Dairy Queen – a traditional treat for us both – ice cream addicts that we were! We took his dog for walks through the neighborhood, reminiscing about my mom his wife, and we visited the hospice where she died, and we cried. Dad and daughter.
My dad and I were very close, even while growing up he was who I looked up to and who I aspired to be like. He’d take me to footfall and hockey games. It was my dad that taught me the rules and what to look for as a spectator of the games. We always had great fun at these events. He taught me how to golf, although I really have no clue what I am doing. and some would fondly say it because my dad didn’t either! But I loved our excursions to the driving range and when one day he bought me a set of kid’s clubs I thought it couldn’t get any better. My dad.
And so a year ago today was the last time we had any dad and daughter time. Neither of us knew it would be the last time.
The next time I would see my dad, was the July long weekend, he was in hospital. Speaking was very difficult for him by this time. We could communicate but it was not easy and I am not sure I got it right. He scratched out notes on paper and wrote things down but he always had horrible handwriting and it was now made worse by his weakened condition and all the meds they were pumping into him.
So my last fathers day with my dad was the last fathers day with my dad, and I hope I will never forget a second of it. If you’re a dad tell your daughter how great she is, even if you think she knows, say it anyway. She will hold onto that moment for the rest of her life, just like I do. If you’re a daughter, tell you dad how great he is. Even if you are sure he knows. Tell him anyway. He will hold onto that moment for the rest of his life.
And we never know how many or how few moments we have left.