I have two Dads. My parents had Katie, Rachel and ME before they got divorced. Mom married John and had Lillian and Johnny. Tom-Dad married Mary and had Trisha and Brendan. Here is the diagram of our immediate family tree that I have drawn SO many times for my friends, but never quite like this! :)
When I was younger I used to get so excited to visit Tom-Dad out on the West Coast. Oh, yeah, Dad, you should probably know that Katie, Rachel and I usually refer to you as Tom-Dad. It probably sounds weird, but we always have since before I can remember. Even Lillian and Johnny call you Tom-Dad!
Anyways, to ten-year-old me, visiting my father meant spending lots of time with my awesome older sisters Katie and Rachel, and my younger siblings Trisha and Brendan, who I rarely got to see. It also meant airplane rides, swimming pools, game boys, mini-golf, ice cream, video games, car trips and a fun vacation on the West Coast. Even though I was pumped for vaca with my sibs, I used to cry myself to sleep in the weeks leading up to my trip, but I didn't understand why.
One night I remember (John) Dad came into my room (which I shared with Lillian and Johnny) and asked me why I was crying, so I tried to explain my confusing feelings. Through my sobs I explained I loved both my Dads so much, but I was afraid one would think I loved the other more. I told him I didn't know how to show Tom-Dad that I loved him in such a short amount of time. I explained I was happy to see my Dad, but I was sad that I would have to leave.
He may not remember this moment, but it will stick with me forever. My Dad, peering over the wooden bunk bed safety rails, put his hand on my face and told me that it was okay to feel confused, happy and sad all at the same time. He told me the best way to show my Dad I love him is to enjoy the time I spend with him, and try not to worry about how sad it will be when it's time to leave.
Now I am "grown up," I don't live with my parents or my siblings anymore, in fact I don't live near most of my family and friends, and I miss them all the time. (I seriously cannot explain how much I love and miss you all...) My Dad's comforting words helped me realize that we can't always spend our time with the people we want to spend our time with. We all have lives, responsiblities, goals, dreams and aspirations that will keep us apart from the people we love. Now every time I get to visit Dad, Tom-Dad, Mom, Mary, Katie, Rachel, Lillian, Johnny, Trisha, Brendan or anyone I love, I always remember what Dad explained that night...
The best way to show someone you love them is to enjoy the time you spend with them.
I think it's important everyone remember this lesson on Father's Day... If you are getting the chance to spend time with your Dad this weekend, I am SO JEALOUS of you. But please try not worry about what happened in the past, or what might happen in the future. Just try to really enjoy the time you spend with the people you love. That is the best way to show them you love them ;)
Happy Father's Day Dads!!!! I love you and I miss you always.