“To hold your world together”

Since I moved away from home about 6 years ago, I’ve found that I rarely miss my family. We stay well connected through social media and phone calls, and I am usually busy enough that I don’t miss them between those interactions.

But when I’m sick, or having a hard day, that’s when I miss my mom. I just want to have her beside me and feel her hugs. Because that hug means everything will be okay.

But my dad… missing him hits me out of the blue. Maybe I hear a song that reminds me of him, or see something I just have to tell him about. And then, I miss him.

I miss how he hugs me when he picks me up at the airport. I miss spending evenings in the tractor with him. I miss how he always gives me the best advice, and how he always knows exactly what will make me feel better.

I know he’s just a phone call away, any time. But I’m not good at admitting that I need someone or expressing feelings like this. No one in my family is especially good at that actually. But there are countless little reminders that remind me of how much my dad cares. And, a phone call just isn’t the same.

While no one in my family is great at expressing emotions, there are countless little things that remind me of how much my dad cares.

One day, just before I went back to Ontario for university, probably about 4 years ago, he gave me a bag. A small adjustable wrench and screwdriver with interchangeable heads, with a note saying:

“Here are a couple of things to help hold your world together. Or help to take it apart. Love Dad”

While I leave those tools behind when I am abroad, that note travels with me. I like being able to see my dad’s writing, but it’s more than that. It’s a reminder that he’s always there for me, no matter where I am in the world. That he will always be there to help, and that he has given me the tools, literally and figuratively, to be able to hold my world together, or take it apart and recreate something even better. 

Happy fathers day to all of the dads out there who are holding worlds together – even if they don’t know it.

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