This is an incredibly different article than any other I have written here. Mainly because it is a personal article. So this is just a disclaimer – it is more emotional than agricultural based.
For the past two years Father’s Day has always brought a little feeling of dread. How can you celebrate Father’s Day without a father? My father passed away from Leukemia on June 26th two years ago. I was every definition of a daddy’s girl. He was my hero, my supporter, my everything.
My father taught me everything he knew about hunting, growing food plots, and loving life. He even quizzed me on weeds and seeds for a final while he was in the hospital. In hindsight, I wish I had paid more attention while he was still here. How he fit so much knowledge in his short life I am not sure. I hope to be half the person he was, and love life and people just as much as he did.
Our last Father’s Day together was definitely not ideal. He was not responsive in the hospital in UAB (a trip I made countless times). My mother and I had bought a new farm sign for him. Unfortunately he never saw that sign. My father helped me start a Belted Galloway Farm. Even though we had no background, I had a passion. And like any good father he supported me physically, mentally and most importantly financially. I was lucky to have such a loving and supportive father, no matter what.
The first Father’s Day without him was incredibly difficult. I was not sure how to function. I wasn’t sure what that day should look like. I came back to the question, how do you celebrate Father’s Day without a father? I decided to celebrate the time I had with him. But to also celebrate the other people in my life. That stepped up to support me and my family.
I am incredibly fortunate in that I have a large group of people that love me. These people make up my tribe. I would not have made it this far in my life without them. So instead of focusing on not having one of my favorite person, I celebrate everyone else. I make sure to take time on Father’s Day every year to reach out to “my people” and thank them for their love and support. I believe that is what my father would have wanted. He wouldn’t want me to sit around sad and focusing on missing him.
This doesn’t change the fact that I miss him every day. But I try to not let it take over my life. As bad as it can seem, there is always a positive. Noticing the support from everyone else is my positive. Now I just have to thank these people. It doesn’t change the fact that I miss my daddy, but it does give me something happy to focus on, on Father’s Day and every other day. These people don’t take the place of my father by any means, but they love me and support me just like he did. So to all of these people in my life, THANK YOU.
I grew up wanting to be just like my daddy. Well my dream has come true. I am my father with shorter legs and longer hair.