A Favorite Father's Day Memory

Sunday, June 19, 2011
My father was not one for pomp and circumstance on Father's Day. In fact, the less attention on him, the better. My mother, sisters, and I always respected his wishes.

But all bets were off for the Father's Day of 2008. It was my dad's first Father's Day since my mother had passed away the previous July, and my sisters, nieces, and I insisted on making it a memorable one, much to my dad's dismay.

We planned a huge breakfast complete with my dad's favorites. We rallied around him to keep his mind off of the fact that my mother wasn't there to share this day with him. This particular Father's Day was completely out of character. We NEVER did this type of celebration for my dad. He never wanted it and would have none of it. But there was something different about this Father's Day. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but I could tell you that it wasn't just about my mom's not being there. There was more to it than that.

Five weeks after that Father's Day, my dad passed away unexpectedly. After the initial shock wore off, one of the first memories I recalled was that Father's Day breakfast. I can't tell you how grateful I was that we insisted on celebrating my dad's last Father's Day with pomp and circumstance. I know he didn't want the attention, but he needed it. And my sisters and I needed to give it to him.

Each year on Father's Day, I recall my dad's last Father's Day, and I am so thankful that we celebrated it in the manner that we did. It was the last family gathering we had with my dad, and I often wonder if I should've known that his end was near. Three months prior to Father's Day, we celebrated my dad's birthday with a huge seafood feast. Again, a celebration that was atypical for our family. Yet, I wonder if those celebrations should have been a sign to me.

I take great comfort in knowing that both his last birthday and his final Father's Day were spent with his being surrounded by his family. I am comforted knowing that he died knowing exactly how much we all loved him.
This post is dedicated to the memory of my father, Kenneth Coleman.

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