Opinion: Happy Father’s Day, Mom

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Nicholas Hunter

As I write this, Father’s Day is coming to a close.

Father’s Day is a strange day for me; my father was never part of my life. He only saw me a handful of times when I was much too young to form memories.

He hasn’t been around since.

This is a fact of my life. Not necessarily one that bothers me, but one that is a glaring difference in my life to most other people.

I suppose it’s mostly a case of not missing something you’ve never known. Fine by me.

But when Father’s Day rolls around, I do reflect on not having my father in my life.

Constant reminders on social media, whether it be pleasant reminders from Facebook or friends sharing the classic photo  themselves, newborn, swaddled in their dad’s arms. The picture is grainy, in a poorly lit room, but one thing is clear  Dad is beaming at their new child.

It makes me happy to see the bond others have with their fathers. To have that bond is a formative part of most people’s lives, and I cannot undersell that, but it can be a tough pill to swallow, at times.

Knowing that those photos do not exist for me can briefly throw me back, wishing a scene could be captured that never actually happened.

Aside from those moments, I typically make a respectful joke out of the day, wishing my younger brothers or a random friend a happy Father’s Day, as if it’s St. Patrick’s Day or National Cherry Cheesecake Day.

I also tell my mom happy Father’s Day. This isn’t a joke.

Being a single parent sounds unimaginably difficult; two people taking care of a single child is a daunting task in itself — raising four, essentially on your own? No thanks.

But my mom, quietly and as if it’s second nature, continues to do so.

She wouldn’t like the word, but my mom does the duties of two parents by herself in heroic fashion.

She works to pay the bills, puts food on the table, never failed to find time to make it to baseball games or school functions, get us to the doctor (as four boys will frequently need), spend quality time with all of us and so many other little things.

We’ve never made things easy for her, but through all the struggles we’ve endured in our lives together she’s managed to raise four kids who work hard, care for each other and (mostly) stay out of trouble.

That feat alone should be celebrated every day.

And because of the life she’s provided for me, I don’t have to miss my father. I don’t have to look back and ponder the “what if” questions with him.

Instead, I can look back and admire a strong woman who took on the duties of two, and thank her for making me who I am.

I love you, Mom, and happy Father’s Day.

Nicholas Hunter is the opinion editor. Contact him at [email protected]