It will be the first.
I've done a lot of firsts since we lost him to lung cancer. Holidays, Birthdays, Breakups, Moves. Right down to small things like conversations and jokes. The first time I forgot that I couldn't call him or he wasn't going to be calling me. The first time someone called looking for him here.
My Aunt said something about firsts one day. That it was almost over.
I don't think it ever will. There will always be something. Perhaps not exactly the same kind of firsts, but firsts just the same. Also the things he will miss.
And now I am left with the feeling that Father's Day is now unreal. It will just be another day. What does it mean? No more buying steak for his breakfast, but not to be served in bed. He didn't like breakfast in bed. He humoured us with it when we were very little, but that didn't last long. Steak and eggs with tomato slices. Coffee. Black. He didn't drink coffee with anything in it. He thought it was wussy. He also wouldn't eat crepes. He called them 'girl pancakes', with the high pitched voice and hand gesture. He'd sit and watch racing. He always wanted to go to Daytona. He said we could all go to DinseyWorld and he would go see the Indy 500.
My father was laughter and smiles. There are barely any pictures of him without that smile. He laughed honestly. He put everyone under his spell with those.
My father was being held while he rocked. He loved cushy rocking chairs. When we were very little, we would crawl into his lap and rest our heads against his chest and he would just sit quietly and rock us while he watched tv. I remember seeing him with my little brother, back when he was still a baby, just rocking and looking very peaceful. He loved being a father. He loved family.
My father was learning about random facts. I couldn't say that he was a genius. He wasn't a scientist or anything like that. But he loved to share what he did know.
My father was buttons on my coat. It's one of my earliest memories of him. Standing in my Nanna's hallway and getting ready to go home. He would kneel down, or stand me up on something, and I would watch as his large hands did up the buttons with ease. They were always creased with printers ink.
My father was understanding. Noone understood me like he did. For a long time we didn't know each other at all. For a long time I was afraid of him and angry with him. Then, one day, we started talking. Talking about things that didn't seem all that important. Just about our days. When I moved away, he would call me if he hadn't heard from me for a few days, and only to hear about what I had been up to. He never judged me when I wasn't doing well. He only encouraged.
My father was knowing I would be taken care of. When I ran out of money my first year away because of a cheque gone wrong and I had no phone, I called in tears from a payphone. When my father got home and heard what was happening, he called my Aunt Lorna and asked for a loan for me. When I called back to see if he had gotten back so I could talk to him, it was all taken care of. He told me it would be alright and he was coming up the next day to take me grocery shopping and give me the money. No questions asked.
My father was knowing someone was proud of me. There is a picture of the day I came home from the hospital. Him and my mother are at the bottom of the front stairs of my Nanna's house, and he is grinning from ear to ear staring up at the camera with me in his arms. From the day I was born, he was proud of me. It didn't matter what I did or who I was, I was his baby girl and he would always be proud of me.
My father was knowing all these things and more. The last thing that my father said to me was to make sure I would take care. I told him that I had to go, but that I would see him later. He just nodded and said "Ok, and be a good girl...and be a good girl..." I smiled and said "Ok, Dad..." like it was silly. He always used to say it, like I wouldn't already try to be good. Now, when people ask me if I smoke and I say no, I remember him saying that when they respond with "Good girl".
My father was knowing I was loved. I was loved above all. Noone will ever love me as much as he did.
Because I remember this every day, and not a day goes by that I don't, I don't need Father's Day to remember anymore. It is just another day.