5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father – Father’s day can be difficult for those whose father is not around or has passed away. Getting through the whole day can be AND will be hard. So, here are some of ways I will spend Father’s Day and hopefully, it will help you as much as it helps me.
Disclosure: Michelob Ultra is sponsoring this post, but, that’s it. Everything in this post is about my experience and my tips. All opinions are my own. Visit their site today and get all kinds of Father’s day gifts.
So, this is a complete departure from my usual recipe making posts, right? But, as I have always said, this blog is a big part of me and the “healing” in its name is part of why I started this blog. It has helped me heal in so many ways and I hope my story / tips in this post can help others.
Also, thank you for taking the time to reading along and supporting my sponsors
When Michelob Ultra asked me to do a Father’s day post about the fathers that inspire and support us, I burst out crying! You see, I haven’t had a relationship with my dad. Despite trying desperately to connect with him for years, our relationship has never been fruitful.
Father’s day 2017 was the hardest day for me. I couldn’t get through the day without crying and I know that Father’s day 2018 is going to be no different! I made a list of things I will do to make it easier to get through the day.
If you want to skip my boring history, click here to go directly to the 5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father section.
A brief history of my relationship
Being born into the Indian culture, girls are just burdens / property. The end goal is to get them married off! I am happy to report that this mindset has changed drastically over the last couple decades, but, sadly it wasn’t so when I was growing up.
So, my dad only saw me as a liability who is not going to get married and end up embarrassing him. This was more of his wife’s thinking (I will not call her my you-know-what!) which she constantly reminded him.
It didn’t help that when I was 6 years old, I was involved in a horrific car accident. The right side of my face was shattered with glass and I spent 1-2 months in the hospital.
This re-enforced their fear that I would never get married and they would be the laughing stock of society. Ever since then, their singular focus had been to get me married off. Every action was about that and we never had a relationship as a result.
I never had free will and he would make every decision for me. Even when I spoke up about something, either he or his wife would abuse me into submission. A common practice was to show photos of daughters to families of the man to be married off. If I refused, they would drag me out of the car outside of photo studios to get me to take those pictures. Half the time, they would take my pictures secretly without my knowledge.
In his heart, my dad always knew that what he and his wife were was affecting me deeply. But, he was always powerless against her! She was one of the most cruel person I ever met (and remains that way to this day!)
So, my dad sent me away at the age of 19 (something unheard of in the Indian culture). I left home, but, the abuse never left me. The spying, manipulation and secret photo taking was always there.
We were briefly re-united in 2000, but, I couldn’t take anymore of the abuse of him, his wife and his evil kids (not calling them my you-know-what!).
I spent 13 glorious years without them in my life (They continued their spying, but, I ignored their existence). In 2013, I had a reunion with them because I was falsely led to believe that they had all changed. One of his daughters came to me with a fake (but convincing plea) that she was in desperate need of my help. Being the “big sister”, I was eager to help out and so, I moved to FL to help out.
When I reconciled with my parents, things were great in the beginning. It seemed that they had truly changed. But, I discovered not long after that, they were the same cruel people. I had some good times with my dad, but, he still was under pressure from his wife and his other kids! Whenever he was abusive, I knew that he was being pressured by his kids to remove me from their lives.
I tolerated it all because I thought my dad and I were making progress. Just before Father’s day 2017, I really thought my relationship with him was on the upswing. I thought we had turned a corner and that he was finally seeing me as a human being.
However, the jealously and hatred of his kids & wife was too powerful. Once again, they won and my dad was back to his old tricks of spying, abuse. At this point, I had enough and I was officially drained. I decided to cut off all relationship with them because I was tired of being seen as a loser or someone who doesn’t deserve to make her own decisions.
I decided to remind myself that I have feelings and that they can be hurt!
I decided to remind myself that I am a human being!
So, that’s my story in a nutshell. Do you have a similar story? I would be happy to hear your story too. Feel free to contact me anytime.
Now, let me tell you how about how I am going to get through Father’s day 2018
5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father
1) Remember the good, the bad and the everything else
This is hard for so many, myself included. I don’t have anything nice to say about the other members of his family. I often joke that a piece of chewed gum on the sidewalk on a hot summer day is nicer than anyone in his family.
But, with my dad, I had some good memories. In 2013, I would take care of him when his wife was out of town. We had good times and good talks. He even talked about his life growing up which is something he never talked about before.
So, my first tip is to sit down and and write all the memories you have of your father. No matter how bad things may have been in your relationship with him, there is always something good you can find / remember.
This could be the very good memories that would make you smile from ear to ear. I remember some of the wonderful things he told me about his life and some of the pranky stuff he did in his day. He had a hard life growing up and it made me appreciate his personality.
They could also be memories of some of the bad stuff that you are afraid to face. They could be things that made you cry, but, its important to write them down. Trust me when I say that writing them down can be very very cathartic. It will make your chest feel lighter.
Also, write down memories that are just memories. They are not good or bad. They are just there. Like how he likes to fold his napkin at the dinner table. Or how he likes to find funny pictures on the internet and send them to you. Find small things actions from him and write them down. When you put all those tiny things together, you will get a good picture of who him.
Those small things about him will actually put a smile on your face! For me, it was how he liked to use emojis in his texts to me. They are always funny and had nothing to do with what he was talking about in the text.
2) Remember what he taught you
My dad owned a convenience store and gas stations before retiring. Everything I know about beer and the business of beer is from him. He worked very hard to learn the business and he became very, VERY good at it. So good in fact, that he still gets inundated by consulting requests. Everyone knows that he is the man to turn to when you need advice about the store.
Its safe to say that I didn’t know about beers before 2013. I wasn’t a beer fan and didn’t care for it. To me, beer was always an enigma and not worth getting to know.
After reconciling with my dad in 2013, he started to teach me so much about how the convenience store business works and everything it takes to run a successful business.
My dad wasn’t a beer drinker, but, he could tell you so much about beers. He could tell what kind of beer you want right when you walked into his stores.
My dad is a successful businessman and he passed so much of his knowledge on to me. I understand the business world better today because of him. The biggest thing he taught me is to listen!
Listen to what your customers are saying to you.
Listen to what your customers are not saying to you.
Give your customer what they want.
Give your customer what they don’t know they want.
So, my second tip is to write down the lessons he has taught you about his craft. If your dad was a carpenter, he must have taught you about the intricacies of carving wood.
This will be true whether he was a real estate agent, sale person, computer geek or even an astronaut. I think every father has some good pearls of wisdom that he told you about. I am sure he has some hacks of his profession that he learned in his life and told them to you.
Write down everything he taught you about his craft. It will make you feel like you were a part of his life and that is also a very cathartic feeling.
Side note: Michelob was his favorite beer because it was his most popular among his customers. Its always the fastest selling beer in most of his convenience stores.
3) Visit your favorite places
I went to the mall with my dad and his wife once and it was the best time we had together. Those few hours were so perfect because it was the first and only time they both treated me like a human being.
So, my third tip is to visit the places you loved visiting together. It could be the aquarium or your neighborhood park. If you had good times at that place, go back to it on Father’s Day.
It may be painful and hard, but, it will also remind you of the good times you had at that place.
This happens to be my favorite tip on this 5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father list. I think its because I got to see them as human beings too.
4) “Wear His Shoes”
One day, when I was very young, I found my dad’s work shoes. I decided to wear them and walk around the house. Needless to say, I didn’t get too far and fell flat on my face. I was in so much pain from the fall and remember thinking, “Its hard to walk in his shoes!”
Yes, I was being literal in those days, but, now I look at it as a metaphor. Whenever he was emotionally abusive, I would try to put myself in his shoes and try to understand why he was doing it. He made many sacrifices in his life and he even went without the good things in life so that he could feed me, cloth me and put me through school. When I put myself in his shoes, I was able to respect his sacrifices.
My dad is a very strong man, but, even the strongest tend to falter in the face of relentless abuse. His wife and his kids were constantly badgering him, belittling him and saying that he was not being a man or a disciplinarian towards me.
When I placed myself in his shoes, I realized that he was being abusive towards me as a way to stop the abuse he was experiencing. Its not a way to excuse his behavior.
It was a way to understand it.
So, my fourth tip is to spend part of the day “walking in his shoes”. Its a way for you to try and understand why he did what he did. Its NOT to justify his actions, but, it will help you understand his motives.
In a small way, it will even help you get a little closure over his abuse.
5) Go through all your photo albums
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind
Whenever I think of photographs, I always remember this quote by Aaron Siskind. Photographs are a great way of capturing that one moment in life where things were good.
So, my fifth tip on this 5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father list is that you should open all your photo albums
I am sure you have tons of photo albums filled pics of you and your dad. They may have cobwebs on them or fresh fingerprints. Either way, they will make you happy seeing some of those good times.
Its also a really good way to see how far you have come. See all that you have achieved since those pics were taken and see all the good things that happened to you since.
6) Make his favorite foods
Here is my baker’s dozen tip for “5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father”
Shocking, I know, that my dad has a food obsession! I bet you are not surprised to hear that! I come from a long line of people on my dad’s side that are obsessed with food.
If I made a list of all the foods that he liked, it could fill up 2 football fields. His love of food is legendary to the point that everyone sends him food when they make it. He has a very discerning palate, so, people love getting his opinion.
My first recipe on this blog also happens to be one of his favorites. I made Bell Pepper Makhani for him very early on and he loved it! So, I am going to be making it on Sunday!
He hasn’t tasted my Bombay potatoes, but, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be one of his favorites. It has all his favorite ingredients, so, I am sure he will love it.
So, my baker’s dozen tip is to make his favorite food. It could be his favorite BBQ ribs or it could be his favorite grilled corn recipe! Food has a great way of healing the soul and making / eating his favorites can remind you of your bond with him.
I am so glad you stayed to the end of these 5 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Without a Father. It means the world to me that you found it interesting. I hope it helps you have a happy Father’s day and hopefully brings you some closure in your life.
All I ask is that if there is even a slightest chance that you can reconcile with him, take it! Grab that slim chance with both hands and take every advantage of it!! It might just be what you need!
Also, I want to sing praises of Michelob Ultra. They make beers like no other! Their beers are more about focusing on wellness and active lifestyles. You take care of your body and there is no reason for you not to enjoy a good beer at the end of the day.
You won’t be able to tell from the taste that their beers are low calorie because they taste so gooood!!
I have used their beer in the past to make beer pretzels. Check out the recipe and let me know what you think.
So, now its your turn! Tell me how are you spending Father’s Day?