Why Father’s Day?

Why Father’s Day?

My father thought it was silly.
He called “Father’s Day” a “made-up Chamber of Commerce holiday,” commercial and phony.

My husband feels the same.

Maybe that’s why – when our son was in active addiction – the day came and went without much notice.

Now that Jacob is ten years in recovery with a thoughtful wife who pays heed to holidays, there may be future recognition. After all, they grew up in those Hallmark years.

But does it matter?

During the blur of high school and college, when Jacob was lost to us, I dreaded the days leading up to any holiday, and especially Mother’s or Father’s Day. There would be no card, no call, no “I love you” in written or spoken form.

But there would be the sight of mothers or fathers with their families, strolling the streets of our sunny town, a toddler’s hand grasped tightly, or a teenager nearly shoulder-high loping alongside. Their smiles made the day sunnier, and mine darker.

These weren’t the only days that caused a calendar calamity. Birthdays, the Jewish High Holidays, and New Year’s Eve, all crushed my heart.

Then someone I admired at the hospital where I worked reminded me: “Addiction is a disease of loss. You lose the dreams you envisioned for your loved one. Expectations are dashed.”

Through Al-Anon and a focus on myself I worked hard to let go of expectations, of any expectations, including a holiday phone call or a birthday card. My only wish was that my son would be drug-free, healthy, and return to us.

And when he did, when he found recovery years ago as did his mother, a ” holiday” no longer mattered.

If we can celebrate recovery, isn’t every day worthy of celebration?