Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Lebanon but this year Dad won’t be around to celebrate it with us. It’s been a month and we miss him terribly. I miss his morning calls, his laughs, his jokes, his advice, his visits…I miss it all, every bit of it. Not an hour goes by when I don’t think of him, think of calling him to just say hello, just talk like we used to. I cannot see how I will ever get over his sudden passing from us. They say time heals all wounds, but this one may just be too deep.

I read a powerful quote this weekend that pretty much sums up what I’m feeling right now:

Losing your father is much more than a sudden emotional blow. It is the slow crumbling of any solid ground to stand on, a virus that dines on your confidence as you age. It is a perpetual state of wondering whether you can live up to his legacy while feeling like you are burying it in the dirt. You lack access to his institutional knowledge, and so you attempt to move forward praying you are not the black stain on his branch of the family tree.

Every now and then, I ask myself or my brothers: Why Dad? What are we going to do now? What can we possibly do to comfort our mom? How can we accept this new “normal” that was imposed on us against our will?

There are no simple answers to these questions. I know this is the time to step up, be more responsible and try to gain some control on life. I am feeling more determined and driven, but at the same time a part of me feels more vulnerable. Words cannot really explain how one’s spirit attempts to muster strength to keep going when bent by tragic life events. Bent…not broken though, and for that, once again, I have to thank you Dad. You taught me everything I know about life, and today, all your teachings and wise words are like whispers in my ear, helping me cope with your loss.

This year of “firsts” won’t be easy. Our first Father’s day without Dad, my brothers’ birthdays, Brian’s first birthday without his grandpa, our first Christmas, first New Year etc.

Father’s Day ads are everywhere this week, a constant reminder that we are fatherless this year. I was shopping for Brian the other day and saw a bib that said “I <3 Jeddo" but I couldn't get myself to buy it. I probably should have and will do so on Thursday, because I want to celebrate every day with Dad even if he's not physically there. bob1

I will keep doing the things he loves most, and keep his memory alive among us forever. I will try to be as nice, friendly and helpful as he was. I will work even harder to support and shoulder the family, be a stepping stone for all as he was for us. I will be resilient and determined and make him proud every single moment of every day. I will celebrate him through the gifts he gave me throughout the years. I will honor him by following his advice as I make my way in this harsh world. I also hope that maybe I can smile no matter how tough life gets, as a tribute to the always smiling husband, father, family man, friend, colleague and extraordinary human being Dad was.

No one ever fully recovers from a parent’s death. I will be grieving tomorrow but I will also celebrate the father that taught me to smile at life and be strong. Tomorrow is an empty Father’s day for me, but it holds a legacy full of happiness, strength, hard work and and unconditional love. I am my father’s son – forever.

Happy Father’s Day to you all!