Let me preface with the point that I don't have a dad. I have a father. I had a dad for maybe two years of my life. I'm not exactly sure if he was even a dad for that much of the time that my parents were together. I have had a father for approximately 31 years of my life. Of those 31 years I will say that I did get to see my father when I lived in the same town as him...well, I saw him for whatever the court appointed time was. When my brother turned 18 and went to college, well, that was the end of the monthly visits. When I went to college I do remember having my father make the drive to see me in a show and my senior recital. After that, in the last ten years, ...it was wedding, meeting first child, first child's first birthday, meeting second child, and then I scheduled a visit when we were driving through town. With all of that in mind let me say that I love my father. I do. I wish I had a better relationship but it really just won't happen. There isn't anything that will change that.
(I also realize that others out there have much more difficult relationships...this is not a sob story contest becuase I know I would lose. This is just a little history on me.)
So, Father's Day is tomorrow. What does that mean? Last minute shopping for gifts and elbowing one another in the card aisle to find the best card that describes your relationship with your father. There are the cute ones from the kids or the semi-crude ones about passing gas or passing a beer. There are the sweet cards with little monsters and their dads and there are the endearing cards that make you tear up. The underlying theme of all of these cards though is that there is a father actual present in your life.
Where are the cards for the "missing father" in your life? Where are the cards for "the man who sometimes sends you cards on your birthday and even though you are over 30 it hurts when you don't get anything in the mail?" Where are the cards for "I really want my kids to know that they have another grandpa out there in the world instead of them saying, 'I didn't think you had a dad'"? Where are the cards that simply just say, "Happy Father's Day"? Nothing else, no cute pictures, no endearing quote about a relationship between a father and child, just three words.
Come on card companies. If you are going to make a Father's Day card for single moms surely you can make cards for the father that just wasn't there. For the father that missed out on the thousands of small memories and moments of your life.