I stopped liking Fathers’ Day on July 4th, 2002 when I was told that my father had less than six months to live.
He died on the 20th of July, and next month will be ten years. He’s been on my mind a lot, as he really wanted to go to Ireland and didn’t get to, and was the person (along with my wonderful mother, obviously) who instilled a love of travel and disdain for boredom that lead me to go on this trip.
Fathers’ day is tough, and honestly I was hoping that they didn’t celebrate it here, so that I didn’t have to scowl but inwardly scream at all of the signs and cards and families. These responses have gotten better, but my nose turns pink with upset even writing about Fathers’ Day, right now.
Yes, Fathers’ Day was last week, but you’re being caught up, so bear with me.
My group of friends were aware of my… dislike? for Fathers’ Day, and so we decided to not do homework so much as to celebrate life. Kelsey and I were going to go to Mass, because we were both raised Catholic, and my dad and I prayed the rosary immediately before he died. So, complications with religion were going to be put aside to honor our childhoods. Then we were going to go to Phoenix Park, because my nickname is Phoenix, and there’s a statue of Oscar Wilde there, and then we would go to the zoo.
And then nothing worked out.
The Mass we were planning to attend doesn’t happen during the Summer, and by the time Kelsey, Lindsay, Cesar, and I finished eating, it was only a couple of hours until the zoo would close (it was Sunday) and so we just got an ice cream and I thought we were going to call it a day. I figured I’d just take myself to St. Stephen’s Green and write postcards or do something while feeling melancholic by myself.
My friends and I ended up going to Phoenix Park, because all didn’t have to be lost as the clock ticked on. We saw a squirrel that I made friends with:
His name is Herman.
The scenery was pretty, and I took some pictures that made me happy, such as:
And then this one:
…which I took right after we realized I was mistaken about there being an Oscar Wilde statue in Phoenix Park. But my friends just laughed, they were honest to God not mad and we just kept walking. And it was nice.
We read and wrote postcards and took pictures with the only sign that said Phoenix Park that we could find:
When Kelsey and I got home at six, I realized that I really wanted to go to church. I haven’t been to church since probably high school, maybe once or twice in college, and my history with religion is another blog post entirely, but I found a mass that was at seven, and I really wanted to go. Everybody was going to go to a musical pub crawl, and Kelsey was going to go too, but then she decided to come. We put our heads together and found directions and kept our heads together to figure out the directions. We got there, lit a candle each, and entered the church.
We awkwardly genuflected and entered pews that were too small for our American selves. I remembered a little more than half of the words, and the service ended in a half hour. It wasn’t as funny or witty as the ones we both went to back home, but we chalked it up to it being a later service. I’m thinking about going back, but here are some pictures of Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
St. Jude was my Confirmation saint.
The Casket of St. Valentine?:
The day didn’t go according to plan, but I think that that was the best way I could ever celebrate. Whenever my dad made plans, they always worked out, but never in the way we expected. My day went as it would have if he was still alive: say we were going to church and not go, ate ice cream and walked around, went to the park, and then ended up going to church. It was a nice day, and Kelsey going to church with me was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me.