Yesterday was Father’s Day and it got me thinking of so many different things. I began to think about the possibility that this may be the last Father’s Day I get to spend with my Dad, I began to feel bad about not having arranged the most amazing visit and event for Father’s Day for him, that I only spent an hour or two having afternoon tea with him while he had a beer with my husband. Ultimately, I didn’t want to steer the day for everyone else – I had my husband to think about too and I wanted to make it a day he would appreciate as well, it’s so rare for us to have a day with nothing organised these days and I wanted him to spend that day how he wanted to with our children. His father passed away when my husband was only 16 years old, so it is always a day of mixed emotions; it got me thinking about what is really important.
It’s not all about that one day, it’s about what we do on a regular, consistent basis that keeps our relationships alive and thriving. Today I have extended myself some compassion for my perceived failure in not producing the Father’s Day to end all Father’s Days! I see my Dad on average three times a week, one of those is for dinner at our house for my parents and my mother-in-law, I see him at work weekly when he comes for treatment and usually once on the weekend for an outing to watch my son play soccer.
I doubt that my Dad remembers anything about my visit yesterday on Father’s Day as he has Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, in the time I was there, he forgot who gave him the book I unwrapped for him at the table. His short term memory is affected and he is now getting more confused, but still, our visits are usually fun and nourishing ones. My Dad may not remember everything he has done for us, or we have done for him; he may not always remember that my brother and I know each other, although he always recognises both of us. He doesn’t always remember he once had another son too. He does know he loves my Mum very much and he can’t bear to be without her, but sometimes he asks her if she’s seen his wife. My Mum is an amazing woman who is trying so hard to keep things together at home. So while Dad may not remember everything about everyone else, we are lucky enough to remember who he is and what he has done for all of us. We are lucky to have him still with us, so many people don’t have that opportunity. It’s about living in the moment, savouring our experiences with our loved ones and being grateful for the opportunity to spend time together.
So, to me, while he’s still with us, every day is Father’s Day …