As we take time this week to celebrate Father's Day, I think back to when my own Dad was alive. Father's Day was one of two days (the other being his birthday) where he was the star of the show. We did what he wanted, spent time together and I showed him just how much I loved him. Now that he is gone, the day is much more painful, and one I usually avoid. But I pull memories out of their protective shell to examine every now and again, and think of how very lucky I was to have him in my life for nearly 36 years.
Families are a tricky thing - you can't choose them yourself, so you have to sometimes make the best of things. But it really struck me this week how complex this father/child relationship can be. Many of you know that I "listen" to GL at work on a tv band radio (and usually follow it up by "watching" it again at home). But as I sat listening to the show, I knew that I would write about how Gus didn't get to know Alan growing up (the polar opposite of Phillip, who thought Alan was his biological father until his late teens).
Now Gus has some very difficult choices to make - in relation to his drug investigation and Alan's possible link. Whether or not to "look the other way" or to treat Alan like any other potential criminal. Will this investigation ruin the fairly new relationship between father and son? Since Gus might not know of all of Alan's misdeeds (although Harley has surely filled his head with enough bad stories - as well she should) and the tycoon is now his only relative in the world (since "Eden" is no longer in the picture) who knows what will happen?
While Gus ponders what will happen to his relationship with his father, Michelle awakens from her coma this week with her dad half a world away. Since GL foolishly let Peter Simon (Ed) leave the show, we are forced to hear stories of where the Bauer patriarch is at crucial moments. Still, I did love to see Rick at her bedside, since he gets precious little air time these days. And he'll be sure to protect his little sister - no matter what.
Ross is a very busy Dad these days. His three youngest children are all still at home, and oldest daughter/fugitive Dinah will return home soon. Who knows what having his oldest child home will mean to Mayor Marler and his wife Blake (who's father, Roger, was once married to Dinah).
New dad Phillip has a custody battle likely in his future with Olivia over baby Emma. Not that he doesn't have his hands full with the brattiest teen in Springfield (Lizzie) who needs a serious "time out." Maybe she should try being nice to people, instead of wondering why people that she hurts no longer trust her.
This Father's Day is a special one for Phillip's best friend, Rick. He and wife Mel welcomed Leah into their lives this year. Not long ago, this charming doctor thought that he and Mel wouldn't have a future thanks to his heart ailment.
Frank and Buzz have to be thankful this Father's Day that Marina has survived that bizarre situation with Carrie. Hopefully this family can celebrate soon at the wedding of Gus and Harley (and some more air time would be nice as well!!).
Josh and Billy have certainly had their own troubles this past year with Shayne's accident in mid-2003 and the whole Maryanne Carruthers fiasco. But with Marah off in Europe with Mindy, maybe these two can take in the sites of Paris soon to see their little girls and relax.
While it seems that Springfield's Dad's can celebrate this Father's Day, it wasn't lost on me this week that there are three very real children, all grown up, who will also be missing their dad this Father's Day. Despite the fact that I wasn't even old enough to vote for (or against) their father, I went downtown to the Capitol to the viewing of President Reagan this week. Growing up in the DC area, I have seen a great deal of politics in my life, and normally don't really "get involved" other than to vote or write an occasional letter. But my brother, his wife, my best friend Kathy and I were determined to be a small part of history this week. While I can tell you that it was a long night (we arrived at 9:20pm after working all day -and left the Rotunda at 3:15am) it was a beautiful and moving sight. It really reminded me that people, despite their differences, really can get together and celebrate this man's life without upheaval. The crowds were huge, but all were respectful and quite friendly. And after watching the children eulogize their father - as I had done just 16 months before - I knew that I was right in going. It was a sight that I'll never forget.
So take time out of your lives this week and enjoy the day with your father. If he is no longer with us - as mine isn't - think back on how lucky you were to have him in your life and how richly he blessed your life for however long he was here. Life is short and precious and should be savored every day. I learn more with each passing year that we need to concentrate on all of the good there is in the world and enjoy life. I hope all of the father's who read this column (and I know there are some of you out there) have a VERY Happy Father's Day. Put your feet up, relax, and let your children shower you with love - you deserve it!!
Until next week...
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!
Happy Father's Day!!