When Father’s Day Hurts

Father’s Day did not become a national holiday in the U.S. until 1972. It’s not that it wasn’t suggested and even recognized before, it’s probably because fathers didn’t get behind it. Men, as we know, are not as sentimental about such things as women are.

But now you cannot watch television without being reminded to remember your father this Father’s Day. And if you don’t have one, or have a dysfunctional father-child relationship, you probably don’t appreciate these reminders.

If my father were still alive this Father’s Day, I would bring him licorice, bake him a chocolate cake, pour him a lemonade or a hot cup of tea. And we would talk about everything, and know that if only the world would operate the way we KNOW it should, all life’s problems would be solved.

See what I mean? That’s one example of not wanting to think about Father’s Day and what you’ve lost. Of course, the best way to look at is to remember your dad and the good times, and be thankful.

But if your experience was unpleasant, that’s another matter all together. In my novel Grace’s Pictures, Grace McCaffery had an abusive father who used to tell her she was worthless, not smart, and just someone others wouldn’t want to be around. He said she was lucky he had her to take care of her. And then she didn’t. He died, and she wasn’t so lucky and was physically thrown out of her home and into a workhouse. Her father’s messages never completely left her, despite her mother’s attempts to speak words of worth to her. Grace tries to hold on to those words, but she is separated from her mother. Perhaps coming to America will help her to start anew. If she can just overcome those negative messages.

Families can be difficult, and even good ones are far from perfect. Grace finds a way to overcome her past, but it’s a difficult journey for anyone. There is hope, however, and if this describes you, my prayer for you is that you will find that hope.

I found this song inspiring. I hope you do too.

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