So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I planned a camping trip to celebrate Father’s Day with my soon-to-be husband. I will pack the truck with bikes, the kid, the works.

His parents made plans to go out on the boat and celebrate my soon-to-be father in law. We will celebrate with a barbecue and good weather on the agenda.

I’ll post on Facebook a genuine salutation to all the dads out there, emojis and all. I always do.

I wrote a card to mail to my brother: “Happy Father’s Day to the Best Dad” and I meant it, because he really is a good one. 

That’s the one that really gets me. He looks just like our dad looked, red hair and freckles you can’t count. He died just a few years ago.

RELATED: To the Fatherless on Father’s Day

I just want you to know that it’s not always rainbows when you’re going through the motions. And even if it looks that way, I want to remind you that before a rainbow brewed a storm.

When a daughter loses her dad, a daughter loses superman.

The next celebration you’re planning could be the very day that she’s dreading.

I want you to know that for her, wading through the pits of grief could look like riding a boat on a sunny day.

I want you to know that a happy wife isn’t all that it takes to make a happy life, when her dad was really a heck of a guy. 

RELATED: To My Dad Gone Too Soon, I Miss You

Sometimes that weekend getaway planned for husband-to-be was really for her.

If she takes the time to celebrate your success as a father—no matter how incremental—in light of the loss of her own, you should hold her tightly.

Because even though daughters without fathers are graceful, and strong, they’re going through the motions.

They’re still missing the man who was there from day one.

RELATED: When a Parent Dies, Part of Your Heart Will Always Be Broken

Every card written, every hallmark expressed, every token of appreciation, spoken or otherwise—for some—was done with the bated breath of girl who looks like a woman, just missing her dad on Father’s Day.

Kailyn McMahon

Kay is an avid writer in Detroit, owner of WallflowerWriting.com, and mommy to a spit-fire doppelganger little girl. Find @wallflowerwriting on facebook for more writing by Kay.

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