Everyone who had a great dad has memories like photographs etched in the warm parts of their psyches. Memories, really, are more like the residue of feelings, and the feelings are often more intense, but less reliant on the details of chronology and setting. It’s all one thing, really.
Your dad was a patient and skillful angler and took you along. You remember how he rousted you out of bed with buttered toast and cocoa to get you going.
"Hurry up, sleepy head. The fish won't wait for slowpokes," he'd say in his gentle teasing way.
That scene played over and over during your many summers of growing up, and your proudest trophies aren't those long, ugly catfish you posed with. They are the photos with your dad dressed in that tattered vest and dopey fishing cap standing next to you with that immensely proud look on his face.
Maybe you're a bit older now and your special day was the time he walked with you down the aisle and presented you, his loving lifelong project, to the man you decided to marry. Your dad was never prone to openly display emotion -- unless when he yelled angrily at that numbskull quarterback who just got intercepted.
But today he could not hide his pride and his love for you, as his eyes welled up and he had to cough to clear his throat. The emotion that you and he felt was far more than the sum of its memories and the facing of this rite of passage for both you and him. This middle-aged guy decked out in a tux instead of a fishing outfit raised you from a pup and probably called you his kitten.
Then there was another day when you introduced him to his first grandchild. What you saw in his manner was the delight that every grandparent feels when confronted with a welcomed “do-over” in raising another baby. But you know that your dad doesn’t need a second chance. He got it right the first time.
So remembering dad on Father's Day, to you, is all about rounding up those old memory portraits in one that make him so special to you. Father’s Day is one day, but he was your dad every day, from the day you were born throughout all the milestones of your life.
Make Father’s Day this year your opportunity to say “Thanks, Dad. You are great.” He’ll appreciate that far more than that tie. But maybe you can throw in that catfish lure he wants but thinks is too expensive.
Happy Father's Day from Dreamkeeper Photography.