We had a lovely Father's Day celebration last weekend, with plenty of pampering (in a manly way) for my husband, his father (who happened to be visiting us) and, via a nice phone chat and mailed gifts, my own father down in Georgia.
But I couldn't help but think about several friends my age who have lost their fathers in recent months. I react to the news of a parent's passing in much the same way as I did when I was in high school or college -- shock, as well as sadness. But we're all older now, and so are our parents, and I guess this will happen more and more, unfortunately. That sense of shock will start to fade, I figure, but the sadness sure won't. In this age of social media, I often learn the news of a friend's loss accompanied by photos of his or her father in his prime. It brings a smile to my face to see these photos, which I know were lovingly curated, and I hope it brings comfort to the friend who posted them.
As I get older, I realize that Father's Day (and Mother's Day, too), isn't just about pampering the parent, if you have the opportunity. It's also about honoring them and reflecting on how they've affected your life. And that's a sentiment that transcends the border of life and whatever's beyond.
I'm so grateful that I still have both my father and my mother to honor in life, and I grieve with my friends who have had to transition to a new way of thinking about Father's Day and Mother's Day.