It’s Father’s Day, and every year it’s bittersweet.  While my dad died in 2010 after some really tough times, health-wise, I still get a little knot in my throat every time I see stories titled ‘The top 5 Father’s Day gifts’ or ‘Where to take Dad to lunch’. I’ll be celebrating with my husband, of course, because after all, he’s a father, too. And this year with my sweet father-in-law. Just not my own daddy.

I know I’m not alone. Many of my friends have lost their dads. In fact, my friend Allison – whose dad died far too young several years ago – shared with me the ritual she celebrates every Father’s Day. They were always big shopping buddies, hitting all the best stores at the mall, window-shopping Armani, Tiffany…you name it. The year he died, she lived and worked in L.A. so on Father’s Day, she and a girlfriend decided to do Rodeo Drive in his honor. “I found the most amazing pair of Manolos that fit perfectly and had been marked way down,” she told me. “Still, they were a lot of money.” And her practical self started to put on the brakes, not the shoes.

“I think you should get them,” her girlfriend said. “Your dad would want you to have them!” And, Allison says, “I knew right then that she was right, so I bought them!” It was the start of her now annual Father’s Day tradition. So this year once again, she’ll be shopping and trying on in the shoe department at Neiman’s, glass of champagne in hand. I can hardly wait to see what she chooses!

Allison gave me a gift when she shared her story. She made me realize, in the lingering tears of loss, there’s a lot more to celebrate than to cry about. For not only are we our mothers’ daughters, we’ll always be Daddy’s little girls.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! And to all the great dads in your lives.


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