I used to spend a lot of time and energy chasing the highs of life, or what I understood ‘happiness’ was. Today I spend a lot less time worrying about that, and instead, I’ve been trying to focus on cultivating peace. I don’t feel it every second of every day, but more often than not, I am relatively at peace.
Being peaceful to me means so much more than being happy, because it allows me to be better at accepting whatever circumstances life throws my way. And more importantly, it allows me to experience and be grateful for the full range of emotions we are fortunate enough to feel as humans.
This is one of the reasons why I can appreciate that today is a day of mixed emotions for me. It is Father’s Day, but today also marks the 10 year anniversary of my father’s death. I remember 10 years ago today, I spoke with him on the phone for the last time. I was in Canada and called him to wish him a Happy Father’s day, not knowing it was the last conversation I would have with him. A few days before, we had joked about being granted 3 wishes. He was in an ambulance when he took our last call. I could hear the nurses telling him to hang up. The last thing he said to me was ‘the wishes came true’. I don’t know what he meant, and I will probably never know. My sisters and I have been trying to figure out what he was trying to say and we have our theories, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters to me is that he left this world feeling lucky and grateful, and that means the world to me.
So yes, today is not a regular Father’s day for me. And although it has been difficult for me to celebrate this day in the past, today I want to honour and remember him, not because he is gone, but because he was my dad and I have so many amazing memories of him.
One of the biggest gifts has also been to be able to celebrate my husband today. He is a father of two amazing kids, and watching him be a dad to them is one of the many things I love about him. Over the years, I’ve watched him put the needs of his family first, even when it’s been difficult, and that’s something I’ve always admired about him. That’s something he and my dad have in common. And although they never met, I don’t have a doubt in my mind my dad would have approved and they would totally get along.
Today I want to celebrate all of the dads in the world who put their families first, and to those of you who like me, have mixed emotions, you are not alone. I get it, and I am thinking of you today too.