Fathers Day: Don’t take it for granted

Fathers Day is a reminder, painful for some, that being able to call your parents shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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Call your parents. Please don’t forget. Whether you are close or not, it’s important to call. It’s a rarity that a talk with your parents goes smoothly. One side is thinking about one thing and the other side is more than likely deflecting topics to get off the phone. It’s awkward sometimes but damn it, please talk to your parents. Keep in touch with your family because sooner or later they will be gone and you may not get a warning.

When it comes to life, there is no script or plan. Things happen and only part of the time is there a reason or theme attached. I’m a lucky guy. I grew up with two All Star parents who kept a roof over my head, worked hard to provide for my brother and I, and didn’t give up. As I sit here 34 years old and counting, I am very close with my parents, especially my dad. We are best friends and so much alike it is scary yet cool at the same time.

I am not entirely sure what I will do when my dad goes. I am not sure how I will act or care to be perceived for weeks or months. I may just want to shut down. I may want to hit something. I may want to cry. It is a day that I can’t even think too long about because someone up top may notice and push it in motion to challenge me to react. Life doesn’t warn you about a loss coming. It just takes something away and waits to see how tough you are as a result. I need my dad around and every son or daughter should at least make an effort to speak to their dad.

I know all dads aren’t perfect. Some of them are men who have kids. Some of them are truly great parents. Kids don’t get to choose what type of dad they get. It’s a one way deal and you can’t put back cards and ask for different ones. I do know that some dads aren’t worth talking to. As bad as they are, I still stress that a phone call may change everything. You may have a less than stellar one hanging around, but imagine someone else who doesn’t have one at all.

I know a few people who lost their dad too early. One of my good friends, Carly Schaber, lost her dad way way too early. She lost both parents at an early age. That’s life for you. It’s unfair and cruel. As a result, Carly is one tough 18 year old. It may read 18 on her drivers license but she has the wisdom and resolve of a 30 year old. There isn’t a day that passes without her thinking about getting another day with her dad.

Same goes for my musician friend Jim Peters. He plays for a number of bands in the STL area, including the Fog Lights with his pal Justin Johnson. He posted a picture yesterday of him and his dad playing at his brother’s wedding. They were both smiling and seemed like if they had a superpower handy, they would have stopped the clock and kept playing. They shared music in the same way I share movies with my dad. Jim lost his dad too soon and the end of his post caught and didn’t let go of my attention. It read, “The time we have with our loved ones is precious. Don’t take it for granted.” You’re god damn right it is. See for yourself in Peters’ Facebook post.

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Fathers Day, like Mothers Day, is important to remember who brought you into this world and protected you. There’s nothing more miraculous than the gift of life. The people who will do whatever it takes to protect you. Friends are wonderful but they often come and go. Family is different. Whether you like it or not, they will be around. It may not be easy or perfect, but the idea of support is there. It also can not be replaced.

Whenever I get frustrated by my parents(granted, it’s a rarity), I just imagine if they weren’t there to be mad at. I imagine a world where I couldn’t call my parents and talk about what I’m doing or what I want to do in the future. I imagine a world where I couldn’t call my dad about a great movie I just saw or a boxing match he needs to watch. Those thoughts are scary. I don’t like that world. I can’t handle that world. Not yet.

Just do me a favor and call your dad. Call your mom. Call your siblings. Your grandmothers. Trust me, it will make their day. It will feel good. As a parent, I can imagine a day where Vincent is forced to keep in touch and I can only hope he does. It makes you appreciate your parents position when you become one. Life is all about perspective.

Like I had growing up, Vinny has two invested and caring parents. I can only hope that I install in him the idea that it isn’t a given that parents will always be around. You have to give back. You have to call. Stay in touch. Life doesn’t play by any set of rules. It takes and walks away. The only way you fight it is by investing your time.

Every Mothers Day or Fathers Day, I remind myself to never take my parents for granted. Appreciate them while they are here.

One day, they won’t be. You will want to know on that day that you gave at least half as much love back as they gave you.

Dad and I

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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