Reflections from Therapists: Dear dad on Fathers Day

Dear Dad,

The words that come to mind when I think of you today are “thank you”. Thank you for being the man that you are and encouraging me to be the woman I am today. Thank you for always taking the time to listen, to hear, and to teach me without ever telling me what to do. Thank you for allowing me to learn that experiencing my own life, growing from my own mistakes makes me the strong resilient woman I am today. Thank you for always cheering me on, for being enthusiastic (you told me one day I would learn to love it), and rarely wavering in the midst of a challenge. Thank you for teaching me how to love myself by watching you love my mom, and being a role model for my husband to love me and my children. Thank you for being a caring Poppa, always enthralled in your grandchildren’s tosy, movies, and mac’n’cheese. Thank you for showing me true strength and power is that of empathy and compassion for yourself and others.

Today more than ever I reflect, think, and analyze how I was brought up and if that is right for this world today. When I truly reflect, your wisdom and energy provides me with insight that the foundational qualities you instilled in my siblings and I will carry us through times of both joy and strife-however we will move through strife not with resistance or pain-but with openness, understanding, growth and love. Thank you dad for instilling the qualities in me not just to leave a room better than I found it, but to leave the world better than I found it.

Thank you, Dad.
Faith Ulsh, LPC

To My Father on Father’ Day,

Not many people can say they have a Dad like mine. My Dad is the kind of Dad who coached the soccer team, then decided to help run the whole league. He is the kind of Dad who got up EVERY Saturday Morning to get you and the rest of the family bagels. And by the rest of the family, I mean our extended family, too. My Dad is the kind of Dad that turns the music up as loud as it goes and lets us take the cushions off the couch and jump around. My Dad is the kind of Dad who is happier than you for your college acceptance. My Dad is the kind of Dad who maneuvers his way to announce your name at graduation. My Dad is the kind of Dad who can fix just about any problem you have. My Dad comes when the tire goes flat. My Dad is the kind of dad who drops breakfast off at your job. My Dad is the DJ at the party. My dad walks around his job prouder than ever to show his coworkers that this is his daughter. Then pulls out pictures of his grandchildren that he’s already shown 100 times. My Dad is the Dad who takes the kids to see the new Disney Movie in theaters. My Dad is the kind of Dad who becomes the handyman at your job and always manages to save the day. My Dad is the kind that belly laughs watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. My Dad is the Dad that jumps on the middle of the dance floor and dances so much, you think his knees will break. My Dad is the Dad who has a little tear in his eye when he sees his whole family having dinner together. Not many people say they can have a Dad like mine.

Catherine Black, LAC

It’s not just Father’s Day that brings up a twang of loss. It’s any day that I wish for him to still be here to share an achievement, a sweet moment I know he would chuckle at, or to seek out his counsel on a tough decision. My father was my teacher, my mentor, my supporter in all things. He shared with me a passion and respect for the sea; he taught me how to fish when I was just five, and how to swim. He shared with me the sacred time he spent connecting to God and the earth through the ocean. And so I no longer get to hear his voice, or see his crooked grin, or seek his words of support. But I always get to honor him and all he has given me every time I go to the beach, see the ocean, smell the salt air. Even when that’s just in my mind’s eye. Thank you Dad, for instilling in me this forever, tangible connection to your spirit.

Suzanne Devoti, LCSW

Fathers play such an important role in a child’s life. Fathers usually lay down the rules and enforce them. Fathers provide a sense of security for a child, both physically and emotionally.

I know my father has played such an integral role in my life. From when I was a toddler and had a cart full of books to read as soon as he came home from work.. to letting me drive the car with him  into the driveway..from every softball game/tennis match to every piano/dance recital right into college… he’s been there to support, guide and encourage me. And I truly thank him for that. Even as an adult, I treasure watching jeopardy and Anderson Cooper with you.

Love you Dad! I’ve never stopped looking up to you and you’ve never stopped looking out for me. Thank you.  Happy Fathers Day!

Shenelle Sriwardena, LCSW

Dear Abu,

I am the woman I am today because of your unwavering love and support. I often think about how you never told me how to live, but by watching how you lived, you set an amazing example of a life to follow.

Your tireless service and commitment to our family and community paved the path for me to craft the life I live today.  Your joy in my accomplishments gives me the motivation to want to be my very best. Your dedication to me in every stage of my life has given me the strength I need to push forward during the hard times.

I started with so much more than you did and it’s impossible to do as much as you’ve done with the little you had. I only hope that my life makes you proud and that I can pay it forward by honoring your sacrifices.

I will always try to be as good a mother and wife as you are a father and husband. It will always be my greatest honor to have been your daughter.

Noreen Iqbal, LCSW

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