“Our reunion day will come, I am confident of that, but the gap is not easy.” —Joe Pighetti
Father’s Day, for many, is a day when the gap is not easy.
Whether it’s been many years or a few days since we hugged the fathers in our lives, there is an obvious gap on this day, magnified by social media posts and photos, billboards and television ads.
The role of a father is one that is hard to fill completely. We try – we learn to fix things that normally the father of the house would. Or, we admit defeat and ask for help. We teach our children things that the father would have probably done better. We take over the stereotypical father duties, hoping that the absence isn’t too obvious. We tell the stories and jokes that they told better than us. We imagine what they’d be doing today if they were here. We remind ourselves that we are doing ok. But today, the gap is not easy.
We can celebrate fathers – the ones we were born into, the ones that raised us, the ones that become fathers, the ones that partner with us while raising kids, the ones we gain by marrying into, the ones that are fatherly to us and the ones we see as inspiring fathers. But today, the gap is not easy for the ones we are missing.
Today we think of the gap – the time without those beloved fathers. We think about what those missing fathers are missing. Fishing, hunting, grilling, boating, golfing, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, watching children grow, tough talks with children, teaching how to fix things, discipline decisions, teaching kids to ride bikes and waterski, tossing a football around, making long-term goals and sharing dreams, being by our side helping, partnering, advising, hugging and cheering us on. There is so much more that is being missed – every day. The gap is not easy.
Today, though, I am also feeling lucky. I have three earthly fathers – my own (Pat) and two fathers gained by marriages (Phil and Mike). I also have fatherly figures to me and my kids – cousins, uncles, brother, neighbors, Scout leaders and friends. The gap exists for me due to the death of my husband, Kevin. Today I am thinking of friends who have lost their own fathers or women who have also lost husbands who are fathers to their children. To not be overwhelmed by the gap, I think of fathers who help to fill it.
To anyone feeling a gap today, I want to remind you of the most loyal Father of all, God. He has placed these fathers in our lives to help fill the gap. And He will never leave us. He will provide gap-fillers in our time of need. He gives us the hope that the gap will not last long. He provides us with memories that result in tears but also smiles. The gap is not easy, but it’s not so wide after all.
Happy Father’s Day…may you feel blessings in the gap.