Revisit: My First Father’s Day Without Dad
Revisit: My First Father’s Day Without Dad
I wrote this less than two months after losing my father in 2018. I’m reposting it today.
As we pulled into the memorial park where we buried dad on April 27th, it was quite clear that Father’s Day was being well attended. Families, large and small, were steaming into the park, decorating grave sites with flowers, cleaning the plaques that marked “beloved husband, father, grandfather”.
If men are as awful as female supremacists would have it, one could not help to wonder why anyone would be showing up in such numbers when the toxic male is no more.
As Victory Girl Lisa Carr has pointed out, female supremacists couldn’t help themselves but use Father’s Day to bash the men who refuse to castrate themselves and conform to their definition of what a male should be — emo-driven, subservient with leftwing politics as a substitute religion. In other words, a dysfunctional and lesser version of themselves. The nihilistic narcissism is breathtaking.
Even Madonna engaged in wishing Happy Father’s Day … to herself.
Briefly sketched, my dad was born in 1928, the 2nd son to an 18 year old mom and 24 year old dad (married 1926). At age 15, he was living on his own, working and attending Los Angeles High School, renting a tiny efficiency apartment. He was JROTC and joined the Army after graduation (11th Airborne) spending 1946-48 in Japan. Honorably discharged in 1948, he joined the National Guard and went to college on the GI bill, graduating with a 4 year degree in 2 years (Woodbury University). He met mom in 1950 and they were married in 1951 when dad was called up for Korea. His overseas orders were canceled at the last moment and he ended up at Ford Ord as a DI.
After his career in the military ended, he started working at newspapers – first the Citizen News, then the Examiner, moving to corporate advertising in the 1960s.
Dad passed away at home 11 days before my parents’ 67th wedding anniversary.
From the outside I’m sure my parents looked every bit the stereotype of “traditional, heteronormative couple” female supremacists and feminist males sneer at on a regular basis. What they refuse to consider is that the reason my parents had such a successful marriage is that they not only loved each other but valued each other’s dreams and interests and actively supported each other in those pursuits. Dad may have been the sole breadwinner after me and my sister came along, but that was because they decided together that was going to be in the best interests of the family.
Dad wasn’t distant, as female supremacists would have you believe of his generation, but hands on. He built us scooters, painted water color pictures for our rooms. He got me started reading newspapers when I was ten and we discussed current events over the dinner table. Never once did he discourage me from any activity I was interested because “girls don’t do that.”
Dad even taught me how to properly throw a punch.
The relationship between him and mom wasn’t just love, but profound respect. They “dated” regularly. As a young couple on a shoe-string budget that would be weekends when my sister and I went to our grandparents’ home.
What I learned from their traditional, cisgender, heteronormative relationship is that marriage is for people who can live up to what the institution requires – they had 67 years of taking care of each other and making the consideration of the other’s wants and desires a priority. They had a mutual respect that made compromise possible and a dedication to each other is an example to their children and grandchildren.
I will never forget the family gathering we had when dad came home to hospice. The grandkids and great-grandkids visiting with him, recalling all things we had done over the years. Four-and-a-half-year-old Rowan drew a picture of him and her and he was as happy with it as I remembered when I gave him similar drawings as a child, his love and gratitude for her foremost.
As a young man, young father and aging great grandfather, my dad’s legacy as a traditionally masculine man is secure.
That was why I was encouraged by seeing so many families on Father’s Day. There have been, and are, so many good men like my father. They need to be celebrated just as the Western, Judeo-Christian family values they lived desperately need to be taught and reinforced.
We need more of him. Many more, not less.
All images from Darleen Click family collection