Another case in point - my Father's Day card arrived yesterday. I called my dad on Sunday, but his card and present did not show up until a day later. So in that spirit of "better late than never," here is my salute to fathers - two days late.
The Pocono Record had a column on the origins of Father's Day as a national holiday. Back in 1909 a woman who was raised by a widower Civil War veteran was inspired to celebrate her father's sacrifices for her and her four siblings. She picked June since it was her father's birth month. Father's Day was celebrated locally until 1924 when organizations began lobbying President Calvin Coolidge to make it a national holiday. President Lyndon Johnson was the one to officially designate the third Sunday in June as Father's Day 42 years later.
Northwest Florida News reported on a reunion of a father and a daughter made possible by MySpace. The mother and father had dated a brief time before breaking up. The woman did tell her former boyfriend about the baby but never gave him further details. Without the other knowing it, the father and daughter searched for each other for years before connecting on the social networking site.
NESN.com has a nice little story on the connection between fathers and their children fostered by sports. There are even links in the story to other stories that are referenced in the main one (if that makes any sense...). MLSnet.com posted a story on the 10 players currently playing in Major League Soccer who are the products of former soccer greats. It also talks about the players whose fathers were successful athletes in other sports.
The Worcester Telegram had a column this past weekend that included contributions and memories of individual fathers who never made headlines. Simple stories of men who did their best for their families.
My mother has always been clear on who she thinks my favorite parent is. Her favorite source to cite is me, circa 1983. Upon asking me "Who loves you, Megan?", she got the following as an answer - "Daddy." Growing up she told me a lot how I was like my father, and I accepted it pretty much at face value, since physically we are very similar - dark hair, tall, perpetually skinny, athletic. But lately the similarities in our personalities are coming out, at least to me. How calm I can be in other people's emergencies, the emotion that exists under a lack of effusiveness, that stubborn streak of logic that pops out when I'm otherwise being crazy.
Over the past couple of years (as most of you know), my dad fought and beat cancer. It was tough for all of us, and I found myself with long-forgotten memories of me and my dad bubbling up. Like how he never missed a field hockey game or tennis match and often showed up with McDonalds for me for dinner, eliciting jealousy from more than one teammate. Or how he came in the middle of the day, suitcase-sized video camera at the ready (remember, this was 1992), to my fifth grade play that me and some of my classmates wrote. Or even sitting watching Maryland men's basketball with the TV sound down and Johnny Holiday's voice on the radio.
When I played sports, often the only voice I could hear from the crowd was my dad, encouraging or suggesting a better course of action. I don't play sports competitively anymore, but I am thankful that when I need advice on buying a car or the safest way to save money but still get a good return, I can still hear my dad encouraging me or suggesting a better course of action. So happy Father's Day, Daddy...again. I love you!