Happy Father’s Day, dad

While everyone else is out there spending time with their dads, I’m in here alone, trying not to get too lost in my own sadness. It’s just that, Father’s Day is always pretty dark around my house, because my dad was lost at sea when I was a very young boy.

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No, that’s not true at all, my dad never went out to sea, I don’t know why I said that. Sorry dad. I was just trying to beef up your backstory a little bit, make everything a touch more heroic. But the truth is unfortunately pretty mundane. One night my dad went out for a pack of cigarettes, and he never came home.

Again, that’s a lie. My dad didn’t leave us. And he never smoked. I guess I was just trying to make him seem a little cooler, but when I wrote it out and read it back to myself, it’s not cool at all. And if you’re reading this, and your dad actually did the whole, “I’m going out for some smokes” bit and never returned, I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t bring up too many weird memories, I’m sure your dad had his reasons.

And I guess I should apologize for the first part too, if your dad was lost at sea, I wasn’t trying to trivialize your loss, or make fun of what I’m sure had to be a really long and vague process of waiting for answers, coming to terms with the fact that, even though they couldn’t find any wreckage, even though it’s theoretically possible that your dad could have somehow survived, maybe taken refuge on a deserted island somewhere, like in Castaway, you eventually had to force yourself to move on, to let go of that stubborn hope that maybe someday dad would walk through the front door.

I was also going to write this story about how my dad was actually a really famous hockey player from the 1980s, and while he was on a road game thirty years ago, he got my mom pregnant but then disappeared, and so eventually the league had to get involved and they forced my dad to financially take care of us, but only on the condition that we all had to keep his identity a secret.

But imagine if that really happened to you, what would it be like to read some random guy on the Internet making fun of your story? I wouldn’t want that. Even though it’s really unlikely. Is it? Maybe it’s not that unlikely. That’s basically the whole first part of that movie The Place Beyond the Pines. Right? Except instead of hockey it was carnival motorcycle riding.

No, I should just keep it simple. And sincere. Dad, Happy Father’s Day. I still miss you. I can’t believe it’s been over three years since you were taken away from us. If only you’d known about that heart condition, maybe you could have sought treatment, maybe you wouldn’t have died while driving that Jeep Wrangler with your second wife.

At least I have all of your old interviews and championship matches to watch on the Internet whenever I get too sad thinking about how you’re not here with us anymore. I used to get really mad with the fact that I had to share you with the whole world, but it’s just another way that I get to keep your spirit alive. Besides, while the whole world knew you as Macho Man Randy Savage, how many people actually got to call you dad? That’s something nobody can ever take away from me. I love you dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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