Friday, June 17, 2011

Me Again

by Cheri Chesley

Last week, my son hijacked my weekly post with a short story of his own. Imaginative, isn't he? Today, you're stuck with me.

Sunday is Fathers' Day. For years, I had a really hard time with this holiday. My own father divorced my mother when I was four, then died when I was 7. Each year as I grew older, I lamented what I was missing. But how could I miss what I'd never known? It's easier than you might think.

As I married and had children of my own, I wanted to focus the day on their father (my hubby), but often my own resentment toward the day would make it difficult. We went through the motions, but it didn't have the right feel to it. It frustrated me to think, in this at least, I was letting my kids down.

Then, about 5 years ago, I was at the cemetery with my dad for Fathers' Day talking things out. As I sat there in the grass, I had a revelation. (a series of them, actually) I stopped thinking about how awful it had been for my family that my dad died, and started thinking about his quality of life had he lived. My whole understanding shifted that day. My dad's death stopped being about *me* and started being about *him*. Obviously, I can't know for sure how things would have been, but I have a pretty good imagination and a fair understanding of human nature.

I'm really grateful for that day. I'm also grateful for the Gospel, and with it the understanding of what happens after this life. It doesn't hurt that many of my priesthood blessings mention my dad, how proud he is, and how he longs to be a part of my life. No, that doesn't hurt at all.

Fathers' Day has a new meaning for me, now. And I love helping the kids plan and do something special for their dad. This year--strawberry cake!


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