Father’s Day is coming up next Sunday, and I’m lying in bed picturing the perfect Father’s Day, one that reminds me of how the holiday used to be.
The day starts with breakfast in bed for my Dad. When I bring in the tray, his eyes light up, he calls me by name and gives me a big hug. He eats his hearty breakfast (eggs, toast, jam, coffee and a slice of cake) while we talk about random and mundane things.
Later, the entire family comes over – my two sisters and one brother and all of their children. It’s noisy and crowded in the house, but Dad just smiles and says this is the kind of noise he never wants to stop hearing. We have a loud and cheerful lunch which Mom has prepared, with Dad serving steaming dishes of turkey and mashed potatoes, and directing his grandchildren to help clear up.
Then we adjourn to the living room for the big gift exchange. Dad loves the smartphone we all pitched in to get him, and he hands over brightly wrapped packages for my brother, brothers in law and my husband. Dad boasts that he picked out the presents himself (but later admits he had a lot of help from Mom).
We turn on a baseball game on TV, and assorted family members sit down to watch. I help Mom put away the leftovers in the kitchen, but I can hear Dad rattling off baseball stats and explaining the rules of the game to the younger grandchildren.
When my sister brings out dessert, we all declare that we can’t eat a single bite, but we somehow finish off the cake anyway. Dad walks us all to the door and hugs us goodbye, with his usual “See you soon!” We pile into our car and smile all the way home, feeling lucky to be part of such a happy family and have such a loving Dad.
I know that this can’t be anymore. Dad doesn’t always remember my name, he can’t buy presents and he has forgotten the rules of baseball. But I am still grateful for all the years we have had together and everything he has taught me. I will bring him a present and we will sit together quietly for a while, and then I will go home to prepare for the family get together at my house.