To those who don’t celebrate Father’s Day

Dear Fellow Journalers,

There are some men among us, our neighbors, friends, bosses, deacons at our church, who cannot celebrate Father’s Day. Some have no father to honor. Either they died before they were born, or they died in war or simply left. Some of these men had fathers who were abusive or went to jail.

Some have children who simply could care less, unless of course they want something. One man has grandchildren he sees once every 6 months. The rest of the time they ignore his emails, tweets, cell phone calls. He watches them grow up on Facebook surrounded by the other set of grandparents.

Some of these men are fathers of estranged adult children. One the face of it, if asked, many of these men will “blow off” the holiday as if it is just another Sunday. But many will admit that the day they dread is the day after. While many Dad’s will recount what their children and/or grandchildren gave them or how they celebrated, these fathers are left with nothing to say.

While I am no expert and only a compassionate wife and grandmother, I offer these solutions found in research articles.

  1. If you’re affected by someone’s comments (and keep in mind, if you didn’t share your circumstances, they aren’t being rude, they just don’t know) have an exit strategy.
  2. Contact someone to talk to. One father actually sits down every year and writes his son a letter. He can’t mail it as he doesn’t have an address, but he writes anyway and saves it in a folder on his laptop.
  3. Do something fun. Remember, if your spouse is the mother who doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day, go see a movie or have a special home cooked meal and snuggle on the couch.

Fathers, like mothers, have special roles to play in their children’s life. Some of the men who can’t celebrate will tell you how they did everything they could to raise their children right. They sacrificed, worked long hours or took on a second job, were attentive, tried to make every game or recital, who wanted their children to have a better life than they did. They didn’t give up, until all hope was gone, and yet, late at night, when they think no one will hear, they shed a tear for their son or daughter and pray for their safety, their comfort, their happiness and their souls.

To those fathers, you can only do the best you can do. The rest is up to God.


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