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Hallmark Doesn't Have a Card for Every Dad

Sunday, June 18, 2006
I always have a hard time finding a suitable Father's Day card for my Dad. I always end up buying one for him, but, it never quite captures the things I want to say about him. (I guess I'm asking a lot from a $5 greeting card.)

When I was growing up, Dad was much more than a Dad: he was the briefcase-toting superhero who arrived home at the end of the day, ready to deal with whatever was waiting on the other side of the front door: a wife who might be surfing the crest of a bipolar high or being dragged out to sea by the subsequent low; plus four daughters who were counting on him to help them to weather the turbulence. It was only when I grew older that I realized the complexity of Dad's superhero moves -- everything that he had to take on behind the scenes to help my Mom. (My Mom did her best, but her illness was really severe and she really struggled.)

Not all marriages are able to survive the hurricane that is bipolar illness, particularly when the illness is as severe and relentless as what my mother experienced. The fact that my Dad also supported my Mom through three very difficult battles with cancer (every illness becomes more complicated when you throw a severe mental illness into the mix, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond) -- including the one that took her life three-and-a-half years ago -- makes him even more of a hero in my eyes. Add to that my Dad's strong sense of justice, his wacky sense of humor (pun-ishingly bad, if you get my drift), and all the other things that make him who he is and you'll see why i've yet to find a greeting card that says what needs to be said about my Dad.

Maybe I should go back to making my own cards, like I did 40 years ago. Sometimes cut and paste collages or spray-painted macaroni say it best of all.

| posted by Ann D @ 12:47 PM