Breakfast in bed, including the burnt toast. The latest new, gimmicky power tool. The silk tie with baseballs or a golf motif. A clumsily made craft put together by little fingers. Father’s Day is a fun celebration for some families, filled with cute moments such as these; but for hundreds more it’s a day that brings them sadness and sorrow. It can be a bittersweet reminder for many military families that are not together because of a life ended too soon or because of divorce. Obviously, it’s not just military families experiencing these feelings, but it seems the risk of suicide, death and divorce are higher for these members of our communities. While it may feel like there isn't much to be done, being there as someone to talk to and offering hope can mean more than you know.
I want the families that have sacrificed so much for our nation’s freedom to know that there is compassion among us. I have 2 friends struggling with the death of their husbands and my heart aches for them. I wish there was something I could say or do. When we talk there is a lump in my throat that makes this usually chatty girl awkwardly quiet. My friends know I love them and I’m here for their families and there is never any feeling they could have, that isn’t okay to share. Grief can throw an emotionally stable person into a tornado of despair and anxiety. I take my cues from her and if she wants to talk about it we do and if not, I let it go. For all of us that have our loved ones with us, let’s not take that fact for granted. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to us. Don’t wait for Father’s Day once a year to share how your dad has changed your life. I’ve struggled to accept the way my dad was a father to me, but becoming a parent myself has given me the ability to forgive and extend grace as I hope my own kids will do for me someday. He did his best to instill wisdom, guidance and love and continues to do so when I stop being stubborn and take time to listen.
For all of our families missing their fathers or children, especially tomorrow, whatever the circumstance…I’m sorry. Honor, remember and respect your loved one in whatever way seems appropriate. Reach out to a friend or The Raider Project if you need someone to talk to. If you are able to join, give, and support please take a moment to do so.
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