Today is the first Father's Day since Dad's death.
Last year, we went to Rome for Father's Day and took Dad to Longhorn's for lunch (he loved their chicken tenders). Afterwards, the family went back to Dad's house where we enjoyed a relaxing hour or two of conversation. When I got home, I called Dad and talked for about thirty minutes; I specifically wanted to tell him how much he had inspired me and what a wonderful father he had been, and to let him know how proud I was of all that he had done. I knew then that Dad was beginning to have problems with early stage Alzheimer's, and I wanted to have that conversation while he was alert enough to understand how important he was to me.
Dad was moved; his voice hesitated with emotion when he responded to me. I knew that he truly understood the depth of my love for him; Dad has trouble expressing that sort of feeling, and his voice stumbled a little bit as he replied.
I'm so thankful that we had that conversation. I had no idea that there would be no future Father's Days to allow me the opportunity--at least, not face to face. I still talk to Dad (and to Mom) every day, but I no longer have the joy of hearing their responses.
Happy Father's Day, Dad--and thanks again for being the best father that anyone could want!