It’s Father’s Day, June 17, 2012. This year marks the seventh year my son has not had a father to honor on this day we set aside for such things. I find myself wondering why we set aside one day to honor our fathers (and mothers) and why we shouldn’t be honoring them each day for the wisdom they bring to the planet. Of course, this is a western tradition, create a big day of celebration and then forget about it the remaining 364 days of the year. I am letting go of those thoughts, and I choose to honor my own father on more than this one day.
What is at the core of my heart today is that my son feels alone. He does not have a male role model to look to for guidance in his life. He was 12 when his father passed away, turning 13 just ten days later. It was such a difficult time in his life anyway; middle school, and middle school kids don’t know how to handle grief any more than adults. In fact, by middle school their actions are probably a direct reflection of how their parents express loss of life. I did not know it at the time, but when my son returned to school after his father’s burial, kids actually walked on the other side of the hallway away from him, some would not speak to him, those that did asked him if his father believed in Jesus and attended church? When my son replied that his father did not attend church, they told him his father was in hell for such non-beliefs. What a thing to pass judgment on to another human being, as if Jesus would judge someone! These, of course, were thoughts and ideas that were being perpetuated at home and the children were simply spreading their parent’s thoughts and beliefs. These are the occurrences both my son and I were faced with during these very dark days, judgment of all kinds.
Today my son has healed a great deal, he is a wonderful caring openhearted human being and he has much to do in this world, for I believe he has a gift to share with humanity. This gift has yet to be completely unveiled, and perhaps what it will be is the simple sharing of his heart. Whatever it is, he is a fine example of living a full life. He is about to embark on his junior year of college, and he is doing everything well and having fun along the way. My wish for him is that he experience joy, joy in all he does and remember that even though he does not have a father to share with on this day we set aside to honor our father’s, I want to honor him for the man he is every day he walks this earth. Happy Father’s Day to my son, I love you with all my heart and soul.
Zen poet Basho