Father's Day can look different for everyone. Today marks the tenth anniversary of my Dad's death. Father's Day 2013 was the last time I ever talked to him, and although I miss him terribly, I refuse to let this day be about grief. Instead, I choose to keep his spirit alive and honor his legacy. If you've lost your father, you're not grieving alone. And, if your father or father figure is still around, make the most of the time you have together.

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I know what it's like to lose your best friend, your hero, and that irreplaceable man in your life. When my Dad died on June 17th, 2013, my world crumbled. I knew at that moment that my life would never be the same. Each year, Father's Day rolls around to remind me that I had the best Dad I could ever ask for. He will never be forgotten!

CELEBRATING MY DAD, LEO BIRGY

Growing up, my Dad was larger than life. He was a salt of the earth kind of man. Anybody could call him for help, and he would drop everything. No questions asked. And, he worked HARD to provide for his family. He was a bricklayer and a masterful one at that. Some of his finished work looked like pieces of art. I loved how he worked with field stone on a fireplace or a home. It was a thing of beauty, but it was also hard to be a bricklayer's daughter. He worked long hours and was often tired and sore. That profession can take a toll on a person, no doubt.

My Childhood Home
My Childhood Home
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Looking back, I wished that we could have spent more one on one time together. Although I'm grateful for the love he had for his nephews, and my cousins, I just wished that I could have had their relationship sometimes. He loved to work with them, hunt and fish, and even go on trips together. It was easy to be a bit jealous, but my Dad always carved out time for my sister and me, even if it was just watching the Detroit Tigers, a Michigan football game, or truly any sports together. He made it to most of my sporting or school events too. My Sister and I used to fight about who would take off his stinky socks! We loved our Dad so much. I will always cherish those times with my amazing Dad.

Kay, Dad, Barbie
Kay, Dad, Barbie
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What do I miss the most about my Dad? Everything, of course, but his laugh and smile would top the list. His laugh was infectious, and his smile would light up any room. In every memory and photo of my Dad, he was smiling. He loved everyone around him, and the community loved him back. He was just that kind of a man. I know that he's not only missed by me but by many. So, today and every day, celebrate your dad!

How you choose to celebrate Father's Day when your father has passed away is up to you, but I know my Dad would want me to find joy each and every day. I talk to my Dad almost every day. I look through photos to keep his memory alive. I talk about my Dad to anyone who'll listen. I always try to give back like my Dad did. There are so many ways to honor his legacy!

WRITTEN ON FATHER'S DAY 2013

Last time I told my Dad that I loved him.
Last time that I kissed my Dad.
Last time that I got to hug my Dad.
The last time I felt my Dad’s touch.
Last time that I heard Dad’s voice.
Last time in my childhood home with Dad.
Last time I looked into Daddy’s eyes.

Father’s Day 2013, I drove ten hours back to Kentucky knowing that I wouldn’t see my Daddy ever again. I just knew after his two-month cancer battle that the time was near. Two hours after Father’s Day, my amazing, generous, kind, and perfect Dad took his last breath. We drove ten hours back to my childhood home, knowing that NOTHING would ever be the same again.

FUN WAYS TO CELEBRATE DAD ON FATHER'S DAY

There's a way to celebrate a special dad in your life, without breaking the bank. You could play some board games, or do a puzzle together. Making a homemade gift would be meaningful. Bake a special treat that can be enjoyed as a family. Dedicate time and do something Dad would enjoy. Have a picnic in the park on his special day. You could pop some popcorn and watch a movie together. There are so many fun ways to spend quality time celebrating Dad! It's a chance to show love and appreciation for the fathers and father figures in your life.

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