Father’s Day – more than just a Hallmark card

June 2015.

It’s somewhat unfathomable to me that almost half the calendar year is already behind us. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we were decking the halls and screaming “Happy New Year!” and yet here it is the middle of June.

With every month comes another holiday to celebrate – this month it’s Father’s Day.

For some reason I always seem to overlook this holiday – that is until the advertisements begin for that “perfect gift for dad”.

I’ve always believed that holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and yes, even Father’s Day are holiday more about commercialism than anything else. After all, will a well-written Hallmark card oozing with sentiment and the latest electronic gizmo really show dad how much you love and appreciate him? Call me a pessimist, but I doubt it.

While I’m not a father myself, I’ve been a son for decades. And for anyone who’s ever called themselves “a child” for an unspecified duration, you come to a point in your life when you realize that being a father is not an easy job.

It’s true that some fathers feel that their biological contribution is the end of their role as a parent, while others see their children as a way to live out their unachieved hopes and dreams. But some truly have an understanding of how important the title of “father” is to a child, and the life-long responsibilities that come along with that designation.

The other day I overheard a co-worker speaking to his teenage son over the phone. I’ve overheard their conversations before, and though only one sided I can still hear the love, care and support through the dialogue taking place.

It’s refreshing, inspiring and oftentimes leaves me craving the father-son relationship that has been absent from my life of late.

I will never deny that my father played a vital role in shaping the man I am today.

One of the greatest gifts a father can provide his children is love, support and understanding in a world filled with stereotypes and conditions.  To have an active role in their development, to guide them, to have a continually presence – gifts no amount of money could ever buy. To provide them with invaluable memories they’ll recall on days when their lonely and afraid; despondent and rejected.

Sadly far too many fathers take their role for granted.

Being a father, a parent for that matter means sacrificing a part of your life to care for the miracle of life you’ve just created.

My father worked long hours for his family, yet never complained about it – never thought that his only role as the patriarch was to be the breadwinner alone. He always made time for my sister and I – even when he was sick and exhausted he always had a little strength left for us at the end of a busy day.

He understood that you have to give up a little of your life and give a little more of yourself in order for your children to give you more than just a card once a year.

Father’s Day should not be taken lightly.

It should only be bestowed to those true, deserving fathers who’ve made sacrifices without bitterness, who aren’t afraid to show vulnerability and weakness and provide support no matter what you choose to do or whom you choose to be in life.

Show me a man like that and you’ll be deserving of more than just a card on Father’s Day.

While my relationship with my father has sadly deteriorated over the last few years, I will always be eternally grateful for the lessons he taught me, the laughter he provided and the constant attention every young child deserves.

Happy Father’s Day!