Two days ago, I maneuvered my grocery cart down the aisle. I looked at the sliver of blue on the edge of the handle and as I glanced up the greeting card aisle lingered in the corner of my eye. My hands gripped the cart tight so that I retained my balance. As I paused, I saw young and old, women and men, all stand in unison, perusing the stacks of messages on pretty paper, wondering which Hallmark saying reminded them of their father. Watching each person pick up a card and then put it back or place it in their cart, created a nostalgic, but an intense and sad feeling. I envision these same people signing their name in the inside of the card, sealing the envelope, and either mailing or delivering these greetings to their fathers.
Every year, during Father’s day, this is what I miss the most. When it comes down to it, what I long for most are all of the mundane and ordinary exchanges with my father. On certain days I want to call him on the phone and talk about nothing in particular. Or I want to drive with him to the ice cream store, sit in the booth, with the whole family enjoying their favorite flavor of goodness. Other days, I want to yell at him or listen to him lecture about whatever he believes is “right” for me. Part of me wants to pick up a greeting card, just so I can listen to him say, “Why did you get me a card? You know I don’t like you spending money on me. I know both you and your sister love me.” Every year, we picked out a card on Father’s day and his response would be, “You did not need to get me a card.” But we did it anyway. After he passed, we went through my father’s desk and discovered he kept a couple of those cards. As much as he protested against them, I know a part of him enjoyed the acknowledgment.
I received another reminder of greeting cards and the magic they hold. This past week my daughter brought out her colors and a piece of paper. With careful intention, she drew a picture of herself and her version of her Daddy and wrote a Father’s day message for him. She gave it to him, not wanting to wait for the actual day. As soon as he read it, he put it in his drawer. I know he keeps a stash of his favorite keepsakes from our daughter. I suspect years from now, in my husband’s quiet moments, he will stumble across that card and think about the day that she gave it to him.
The pulse of life lies in those wholly ordinary gestures.
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours.
Thank you for writing this, as much as it is for Dad, I know you write it for yourself, and indirectly you’ve written it for me too. Sentimental yet simple, I know Dad, sitting high above, feels the same way.
Thank you for remembering him today and remembering the good times we had with him.
I’m sure he’s enjoying his buttered pecan ice-cream cone today! 🙂
Love you immensely,
xoxo you too sis.
I love this, Rudri. Your post touches me. I was thinking and missing my dad too. I hope they are watching us from up above. xoxo.
Yes. Ayala. Yes. I hope they are watching and sending us their love. Thanks for your kind words. They comfort me more than I can express. xoxo to you and yours.
“All the mundane and ordinary exchanges.”
A beautiful post, Rudri.
I understand. I can’t believe my dad has been gone nearly 23 years. He was about the age I am now when he was taken, much too young, and in perfect health. Easygoing, a twinkle in his eye, loved a good argument. A gentle man. A charming man. Generous – and with plenty of flaws, naturally
I never stop missing him, and especially, on Father’s Day. Thankfully, we have many good memories to hang onto – including those ordinary exchanges.
I am glad we both have those ordinary exchanges to remember their love. Your father sounded like a gem and I absolutely love your description of him. Your fondness of him echoes in your words.
REading this makes me glad I bought my dad a card today, despite the fact that he too always says I shouldn’t waste my money. It must be an Indian thing, right?
Very sweet post. Thank you for sharing.
I guess so! But Ameena I am so glad you bought him that card – sometimes it is about hearing the protest in their words. Imagining this scenario with your father brought me immense comfort. xoxo Rudri
Happy Father’s Day to you Rudri—here’s to hoping you feel your father’s spirit like a cozy blanket upon all the longings and the love.
Bruce: Thanks for that lovely image. What a great way to visualize my father’s presence. I appreciate it.
A lovley post, Rudri.
Love the happy-face border around her picture! Wow, so sweet 🙂
Thanks Windy. Those happy faces are a true depiction of her everyday personality.
You can still buy your dad a Father’s Day card. Write in it all the things that you wish you could tell him. It will probably make you feel better, and it will keep the good memories you have of him alive for you.
Heather: Thanks for that recommendation. I am hesitant to try it only because I am afraid of the emotion that will come from it. One day, though, I hope I will be strong enough to do so. I appreciate your words.
Those are my favorite kind of cards.
They are the best, aren’t they?
What a wonderful card she made for her dad. I like to think of how much I must’ve made my dad happy with similar types of cards when I was little.
Those homemade cards are the best. They are so well intentioned and pure. I certainly love when my daughter colors her heart on the page.
Thanks Jo Ann. Appreciate your words. Thanks for reading and commenting.