Fathers’ Day is one of the most complicated days in my life! Honestly. I try to remember those things, of course I do! Mothers’ Day is easy, it’s universal, but when it comes to the Dads of this world – Ouch! We seem to not be able to find this unity.
So I’ve learned this week is Fathers’ Day (or is it Father’s Day?) in the US. According to Wikipedia: “Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.”
Where’s my problem? Read this from Wikipedia: “In Germany, Father’s Day (Vatertag) is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men’s day, Männertag, or gentlemen’s day, Herrentag. It is tradition for groups of males (young and old but usually excluding pre-teenage boys) to do a hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. Many men use this holiday as an opportunity to get drunk” (LOL – that helps the German image)
Why should I care about the US, you say. Where’s my problem? Well, another little fun fact from Wikipedia: “In Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, which is the first Sunday of Spring, and is not a public holiday. YMCA Victoria continues the tradition of honouring the role fathers, and father figures play in parenting through the annual awarding of Local Community Father of the Year in 32 municipalities in Victoria. The Father’s Day Council of Victoria annually recognise fathers in the Father of the Year Award.”
Thank goodness, my girls remember their Father and highlight it in the Calendar …. I try to catch up with dad every couple of months and between May and September I just say “Happy Dad’s Day, Dad” and he’s quite casual about it – I’ve always remembered his birthday and even made an effort to celebrate his 75th with him in Germany. I’m lucky in that respect, that he seems to treasure that more than a Father’s Day card!
And I thought, as it is not my turn to ‘celebrate’ Fathers’ Day this week, I let you read a little passage from my latest release “Innocent Tears”, where Flynn “the Dad” and Nadine “the daughter” have their first close bonding since he found out she “existed”.
Enjoy! And enjoy “Fathers’ Day” or “Father’s Day” 🙂
“Dad! Come on,” she said as she walked past him. “Let’s look at the photos.”
Flynn shook his head as he watched his girl happily skipping into the kitchen. There was something deep inside him, which he couldn’t define. Happiness combined with something.
But he couldn’t really figure it out. They all followed her into the kitchen, where Nadine had already hopped onto a chair with the photo album in front of her. Carl sat next to her while Jenny moved around the kitchen to make the coffee. Flynn leaned against the bench and crossed one foot over the other, taking everything in.
Nadine browsed through the photos intently, looking at each of them while listening to his parents’ stories. Then she suddenly stopped and placed her finger onto one of the pictures.
“Mum,” she whispered as she turned to Flynn. “She had the same picture next to her bed.”
With only a few steps Flynn stood next to her. He picked his daughter up then placed her on his lap as he sat down at the table. Wrapping one arm around her, he followed her gaze to the photo and choked back a smile.
“That was your mum’s debutante ball. She looked amazing. I couldn’t take my eyes off her all night.”
Nadine turned to meet his eyes. “She was very pretty, wasn’t she?”
A rush of warmth spread through his body and he nodded in agreement. “The prettiest girl in town.” Her small fingers touched his cheeks, and just that tiny gesture stirred up emotions in him which until then, he had safely tucked away. The love he had inside for someone else. The love he’d shared and lost. The same love he kept hidden inside, in fear of the hurt it might cause if he ever shared it again.
“Do you miss her?” she asked.
He choked, trying to keep his voice straight. “Every hour of every day.”
Nadine sighed. “Me too.”
Flynn gently pulled her closer and placed a kiss on her forehead.
Jenny came over with the cups of coffee. “Darling, we all miss her and know the pain you’re feeling. It’s an ache right in here.” Jenny pointed her finger towards Nadine’s heart. “But you can’t describe the pain. It’s different to other aches. Remembering might hurt at the moment, but in time, remembering will bring you joy.” Jenny sat down and took a sip of her coffee as she gazed at the child. Flynn knew it was a lot for Nadine to take in, and as he met his mother’s eyes, he mouthed a silent thanks. It was a heartfelt thanks, as her words had spread like warmth and care throughout his body as well.
Flynn turned the page and instantly burst into laughter with his father. The photos were from their ill-fated fishing trip to the mountains when it rained non-stop over night and their tent crashed down on top of them.
At that moment, remembering was bringing joy to them all.
While the US celebrates their dads, Australia has a public holiday today to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday 😉 Tell us which country you’re from and when do you celebrate your Dads !