A few weeks ago a dear friend lost his young daughter to an unforeseen medical issue. She was in excellent health, then this awful thing in her body killed her. The family is reeling.
This time last year we were dealing with our son’s sudden diagnosis & surgery for testicular cancer. Happily he’s cancer-free and has resumed life robustly.
I wished my friend’s mother, whom I never met, but who was as sweet as the summer days are long to me on social media, a happy birthday. I checked her Facebook page. No updates for a while. I suspected that she was in an assisted-living facility and wasn’t posting much on social media.
I reached out to my friend, who told me his mother passed in October. I was floored — I never saw it on social media. I had no idea. I cried as I expressed to him my sympathies on her passing, and how bad I felt in dredging up that loss. Especially since he just lost his daughter.
I’m glad his mom didn’t experience that loss. She would have been devastated, as is my friend and his family.
I’m happy he had his mom around for so many years, and very sad that she’s gone. She was always kind and supportive and cheerful on Facebook, even though we had never met. I guess she thought that any friend of her son’s was a friend of hers, and that’s what I thought, too.
So on this Father’s Day I’m not as much missing my own father, who passed 12/26/84, as I am my friend’s mother, who made it a point to always comment on my posts and be a positive force on my FB page. My own parents never had this opportunity. So I weep for that, as well as for my friend’s losses. It’s a strange thing, to feel so attached to someone to whom you aren’t related by blood, who had such an impact on my life.
Happy Father’s Day, all you dads of any kind out there. I hope you’re lifted up and appreciated the other 364 days of the year, not just when the calendar tells you to appreciate them. Being a dad is no mean feat. Neither is being a mom. Kudos to you parents everywhere.