For myself, and many others around the world, Father’s Day is a wonderful celebration but can also be hard. I adore the opportunity to celebrate my husband who is the most incredible father to our three children. Father’s Day is most certainly a celebration, but it’s also a day when I really miss my dad. These days, I tend to lean into the sadness with love, acceptance, and forgiveness; exactly what my dad would do.
A characteristic of father’s that is often not talked about is gentleness. My dad and my husband are both incredible examples of how showing gentleness can have an impact on others, especially loved ones. I found this quote recently after my dad passed away from brain cancer and it has stuck with me ever since:
"Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.
Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person tread lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. In our tough and often unbending world, let’s dress ourselves in gentleness.”
For many years, our society has shoved an intense pressure onto fathers, sons, and brothers that they should be tough; be the “Man of the House.” Don’t tap into your emotion, or worse, don’t ever show your emotion. Emotions are a sign of vulnerability. Vulnerability equals weakness.
I can almost guarantee that the characteristics of the father-figure in your life you have valued has not included toughness or roughness. More likely than not, it’s the vulnerable, kind, soft characteristics that have shown through. The patience when he was teaching you how to drive; or maybe the confidence in himself when he took the Daddy/Daughter ballet class with you; or the vulnerability of showing emotion through tears when he met your child for the first time.
Gentleness is not lost. It has simply been pushed aside. A virtue we should all pursue as a society.
I miss you, Dad, but I know that wherever you are, you’re proud. That’s the thing about losing someone you love, you never really get over the loss. You just learn to cope with missing them every day. Losing my dad taught me many things but especially that we are never guaranteed tomorrow. And with loss and hardship, many times beautiful things can happen. It was my dad’s death that acted as a big push for me to pursue my dream of becoming a business owner.
Thanks for everything, Dad. You truly were the most incredible father. I miss you every day but I’ll see you again someday. I know you’re there whenever I see a grasshopper cross my path or a hummingbird at my bird feeder. Happy Father’s Day. I love you.