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Just a Guy Missing His Dad on Father's Day

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Father's Day is a melancholy day for me. I miss my own father and really can't stand being the senior patriarch in my immediate family. Yes, I have a new father-in-law who my boys and I like a great deal, but he lives in Canada and we don't see him and my mother-in-law near enough (that's not a typo -- I like them).

Just a Guy Missing His Dad on Father's Day

My dad died four years ago. He was a great man. Great in the little things he did and represented. Great for his quiet and simple way of living life, loving my mom unconditionally and providing for his family as a blue-collar, 60+ hour working week, self-employed man.

We often talk about what makes a man a man, and when I write about this -- especially here -- I often get taken to task (or, more accurately, raked over the coals). My dad was that sort of man. He cherished my mom. He loved his boys. He didn't like chick flicks. He didn't complain. He was tough with a capital "T."

But, like John Wayne's characters in movies (Wayne was another very un-PC man), he let his actions speak for him. Where are those men today? The idea of a "metro" man would just confuse my dad. Even his own son being a SAHD left him perplexed. I'll chalk that up to generational stubbornness to accept change. Just as so many of my readers accuse me of being stuck in the past, so was my dad.

I don't care. To me, he was a great man. I miss him. I miss those kinds of men. He was faithful to my mom and loved her completely for 73 years, 66 of them married. They survived the loss of two of their three children. That was when he cried. Otherwise, he was John Wayne, Steve McQueen and Sandy Koufax rolled into one, with none of their money or fame. A GREAT man! 

But what do I know? I'm just a guy.

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Denise June 20, 2010, 8:10 AM

Your dad sounds like a very great man. I wish there were more men like him around today.

Jeff June 20, 2010, 8:41 AM

Bruce, you were lucky to have such a dad!

Gail Cooke June 20, 2010, 9:16 AM

I understand. I miss my dad too.

chris June 20, 2010, 9:27 AM

I feel your pain. My father died when I was 10 but he also was a blue collar hard working for his family kind of man.
That is the same kind of man that I married and is Dad to my two kids. I love that he is passing on his good work ethics to my son. At 14, my son helped him build a deck, lay new floors, paints walls, replace brakes on our van, and sooo many of others things I can’t begin to say. He is completely loyal to me (together 21 yrs) and I can tell that he loves me more now then when I became his bride! I’m happy to see that our relationship is teaching our son how a man treats his wife and children and showing my daughter what she should expect from her husband. He is an all around awesome man and I feel truly blessed to have him in our lives. I know that having my father for the short amount of time I did was so hard but because I always felt such love from him not just to his kids but also my mom, I know that is was guided me to finding my husband.

Wendi June 20, 2010, 3:23 PM

I totally know how you feel. Today is bittersweet for me. I lost my dad 5 years ago and it has left me totally broken. I have always loved how my dad just pushed me to be better and to expect more from the men in my life. He had always told me that before he died he wanted to see me married and to have kids, he did just that. The last time that my father was able to visit me was to walk me down the isle. I will cherrish that forever. It ment the world to me that he was there and that he totally approved of my husband. My father was a great man and I miss him horribly.

Tracy June 20, 2010, 4:50 PM

You are so lucky to have had a dad who loved so strongly and so well. My foster father loved that way and I was lucky to have been a recipient.

Natalie June 20, 2010, 7:20 PM

I know how that feels. I’ve lost my dad and my step dad, and it almost hurts twice as much. My dad was obviously my dad (although he wasn’t around much), and my step dad helped my mom raise me. So these days, in that aspect, fathers day sucks. But my husband is an amazing father, and deserves the best I can give him.

David August 25, 2010, 4:04 PM

I remember my father very fondly. he loved me very much and we had no unfinished business between us as of his passing; so the experience of his death was more a celebration of a life well lived in service to others than it was a mournful time. I have many photos of him. I keep a couple framed in my office, plus have a couple of wall hangings there that he himself had in his. As for “those kinds of men,” there still are stoic, tough, redoubtable men to be found, just not as readily as back in the day. What, by the way, is a SAHD?

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