Father’s Day is today! A day to celebrate the men, who have taught us so much, stood beside us and loved us unconditionally. For me, there are 2 important men in my life, my dad Felix (yes another fabulous F-word) and Bernie-awesome dad to our daughter Isabelle, and step-dad to my older son and daughter. Each day I wake up thankful and feel truly blessed to have these two wonderful men in my life; we should all be so lucky.

As a daughter I have been very fortunate; my father is 86 years old and I get to celebrate this day with him. My dad is a very special person and he has touched the lives of many. As a father, a husband, a public servant, a writer and a part time professor he demonstrated remarkable characteristics and took each role very seriously all with passion, humor, wisdom and love. I have been so fortunate to have this wonderful and special father daughter relationship.

I also love to see the bond Isabelle has with her father and how each day he nourishes it with his love, guidance and presence. For girls this can be one of the most important relationships. These relationships have the ability to ensure a brighter future when they have good examples to follow.

This year for Father’s Day Isabelle made a beautiful card (pictured above) and painting for her dad (pictured below). He was overjoyed with these gifts and marvelled at her “works of art” with enthusiasm and pride. With these positive reactions Isabelle was also gifted because she felt proud, talented, loved and happy.

When I was the same age as Isabelle, I presented my dad with a painting I had drawn.  It was a picture of a cup of coffee and some other artistic embellishments and the words “Good Morning”. This picture, now framed and hanging on the wall in my parents room  is what they wake up to each morning. It makes them happy. Today, Isabelle’s painting has been placed in our room, it is also in a prominent location and it will be the first thing we see in the morning as well. I know it will make us happy and no doubt put a smile on our faces as we look at her masterpiece.

I truly understand how fortunate I am to have both my dad and Bernie. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that it saddens me that this day will be difficult for some. For my brother, Marc, who lost his only child, Thomas-Paul at 14, this is a day to reflect and remember, but also to celebrate the 14 years this amazing kid was with us and who was so very proud of his dad.

For my friends, who have lost their fathers I hope they find comfort in their memories and are able to celebrate those with laughter and love.

And lastly, for those children whose fathers never understood the importance of their role in the lives of their children, how sad to have missed out on those relationships. Let’s hope these “kids” grow up with courage and knowledge that they can do better and not repeat this cycle.

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”  Peggy O’Mara