Yes, my dad walked me down the aisle at my wedding and yes it was a very special and symbolic moment, but that hardly encompasses the most important moments of our relationship. Although I chose to have a somewhat traditional wedding, what would have happened if I didn’t? What if I decided to walk myself down the aisle or elope or never get married? It seems crazy to think that one minute- out of one day-out of your entire life/relationship should sum up the most important moment.
Sometimes fathers aren’t able to walk their daughters down the aisle for many reasons: tragedy, illness, simply not being present, the daughter choosing not to get married etc. What does that mean for these individual’s and their relationships with their fathers? Sometimes fathers aren’t present in their child’s life, for whatever reason. But that does not mean their children do not have another father figure in their life such as a step-father, father-in-law, uncle, grandfather, family friend etc. These relationships, regardless of their form should be honoured and celebrated. Forget the walk down the aisle. If you get to have this moment with your father, great! However, if you never take this walk together, please remember that your relationship/memories count for so much more than the less than one minute walk down the aisle.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always treasure this moment with my father. In some ways this walk was quite symbolic. I was starting a new chapter in my life and I was fortunate enough to father a supportive father by my side. However, this “walk” began long before my wedding day. In fact, it started long before I was ever born. It started with my grandfather.
My Grandfather was a special man in so many ways. He was kind, gentle, caring, and hilarious. Though we teased him about being “cheap” he was also a very generous man who made sure his family was well taken care of. I am thankful for him in many ways. Thank you for teaching my father to be kind, gentle, sensitive, and caring. Thank you for teaching him the importance of humour. Through this I have learned how to take things in stride, laugh when things get tough and try not to take myself too seriously, though this happens at times. Thank you for teaching my dad the importance of family and setting an example of how to be a great father. I am so thankful to you, not only for helping my dad to become the man he is today but also to have had you as such and amazing role model in my life. I love you forever and think about you often.
My Father truly took on many of my grandfather’s wonderful traits. He is hilarious (though I don’t like him to know this too often, I don’t want his head to get too big)! My dad is caring, generous, and completely supportive. Dad, thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams. Thank you for sacrificing all that you did so that I never had to go without and so that I was able to attend post-secondary. Thank you for teaching me the importance of hard work and responsibility. Thank you for always making me laugh, even when I don’t want to. Thank you for always being there. Without you, I would not be the person I am today.
My Maternal Grandfather is a hardworking, generous, caring, down to earth man. He has taken on my mom and her siblings as if they are his own. He has been part of the family since before I was born. Regardless of blood lines, he is my grandfather, 100%. Grandfather, thank you for teaching me the importance of hard work, integrity and the importance of staying true to your word. Thank you for being kind, caring, and supportive throughout my whole life. Thank you for your good-natured and compassionate side. It is baffling to think that you may have never been a part of my life, I couldn’t imagine what my life would look like if you had never been a part of it.
My Step-Father is truly an amazing man. He has treated my siblings and I as if we are his own. He is kind, generous and supportive. Step-Father, thank you for loving my parent as you do. Thank you for always being kind and supportive. Thank you for your laughter and hugs, they are truly unlike any other. Thank you for showing me the importance of generosity and selflessness. Thank you for taking a role in my life that I didn’t know I was without, I feel lucky to have you in my corner!
Although I said the walk down the aisle was just symbolic, on that day I gained more than a husband, I gained a second family and an amazing Father-in-Law.
My Father-in-Law is an easy-going, kind-hearted, generous and a very funny man. He has accepted me as part of the family (as did the rest of my husband’s family) since day one. Father-in-Law, thank you for welcoming me as a part of your family. Thank you for loving your son unconditionally. Thank you for teaching him to be patient and kind. Thank you for teaching him to be respectful of women and to love with his whole heart. Thanks to you, I know my child will have an amazing father when the day comes.
Yes having my father walk me down the aisle was a very special moment. Was it the most important walk we have ever taken together? Absolutely not! The reality is that this “walk” started long before I was ever born. I am simply fortunate enough to have been a part of this amazing journey that started long before me and has continued throughout my life. Regardless of our relationships with our fathers or male role-models, it is important to remember that the walk started long before we were born, and definitely before our wedding day!
Remember it is the journey that matters, not simply the walk!
This Father’s Day, take some time and remember all the important memories you and your father (or other male role model) have shared over the years!
How will you be celebrating this Father’s Day?