Father's Day: A time to honour the Real Heroes in our lives

Date Posted:31 August 2023 

Collage of Fathers with their children to celebrate fathers day


Father. Dad. Daddy. Stepdad. Bonus Dad… Pa. Opa. Pop. Poppa. Grandpa. Grandad. Gramps... Uncle. Patriarch. Godfather… Fur kid Dad… Vader…

It’s that time of year again, the day that we celebrate all those who are or have been ‘Father Figures’ in our lives. It’s a happy day for many and can be a day of emotional turmoil for many others.

Most of us are aware that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are two of the most polarizing days in our calendar. But these days remain significant in our hearts.

How did we come to celebrate "Father's Day?"

Great question! I wondered too, so I thought I’d do a little digging, and see who started this ‘Father’s Day’ thing (Tick, tick, tick…ding!)

Well, it would appear the person who is generally credited for starting this whole event was Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington USA. And for good reason. Her father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings as a single dad after their mother died in childbirth. Sonora had the idea to create this event whilst listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day in 1909. Her idea was supported by her local community, and on the 19th of June in 1910 (the birthday month of her own father) the first Father’s Day was celebrated.

In 1966 a proclamation was issued to recognize Father’s Day in the USA, and in 1972 it was designated a national holiday in the USA. Here in Australia however, Father’s Day was made a national holiday in 1958, 13 years earlier. (Note to self: follow up why we don’t have a public holiday on the day!).

From my brief Google search, I gleaned one significant thing. Father’s Day was the brainchild of a young woman who was brought up by a father fulfilling the roles of both mother and father in her household. At the turn of the 20th century! This day was created by someone who never had ‘the nuclear family’, to celebrate all that her father did for his family. Wow, how very humbling.

My Dad passed away when I was just 14. For a significant part of my life, I was brought up by my single Mum, who had no choice but to fulfill both roles for me. Which she did amazingly. I have been fortunate enough to have several solid Father Figures in my life since then, in different areas of my life.

Celebrating Dad - Love Beyond Borders and Biology

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we all want strong, stable Father Figures in our lives. For some of us, our fathers did not offer stability and strength. For some of us, the people who should have been the safest were not. For some of us, our fathers have swapped their earthly address for a heavenly one. My heart goes out to all of you.

For some of you, fatherhood was something you longed for, but it never happened for you. Some of you are fathers of fur babies. Some of you are parents that will not get to see your children this Father’s Day, for many and varied reasons.

If any of the above are you, choose today to celebrate the Father Figures in your life that have got you to where you are. They may not even be old enough to be your father! Reach out and let them know how significant they are in your life.

If your Father has moved to heaven, have a chat with him. Have a chat to someone else about him and share some memories.

If you don’t have children of your own, celebrate the ‘Children of Your Heart’. For me, they are the children of my best friend.

If you’re a Fur Dad – celebrate them. Give them some extra treats and spend time doing something you know they love. (Mine are at this moment sleeping on my bed – that probably IS their favourite thing!)

If you can’t be with your children today for whatever reason, pen (or type) your thoughts about what it means to you to be their dad. They may have moved to heaven, or they may be beyond your reach right now, but your words will be a balm sometime in the future. For you, or them, or someone else. Never underestimate the power of your words. They can live far beyond you.

Take time to reflect on what Father's Day means to you

Most of us find that we are in a mixture of ‘Father’ situations on Father’s Day.

You’re a father, you’re a fur-father, you’re a stepfather or bonus father, you have a father, you have a grandfather, you have a great grandfather, or a great, great grandfather – if you’re really lucky! Or you are one of those grandfathers or great grandfathers – however many times over!

Wherever you find yourself in the line of Fathers, Father’s Day is YOUR day!

I hope you find joy in your day, however, you choose to spend it.


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