Sunday is Father's Day. Rather than marking it with declarations about why our fathers are the greatest, or how-to guides on buying Dad the best ties or tools, Yahoo News solicited first-person anecdotes about the contentious or disagreeable moments we've had with our fathers. Here's one reader's story.
FIRST PERSON | Earlier this month, I sat down to a dinner of grilled steaks, fresh salad, corn on the cob, barbeque baked beans with brown sugar and bacon and my mom's homemade pies. It was an early Father's Day dinner for my dad and my husband. The meal was just about as perfect as could be, as was the visit afterward with the kids running around and playing, and the rest of us groaning that we ate too much.
We might not have predicted such a harmonious scene in the spring of 1992. That was the year I married my husband -- now of 21 years -- and the year that I am pretty sure I single-handedly turned my dad's hair gray. I didn't realize how much older he looked from the year before until we got our wedding photos back.
Looking back on that year, I can understand why.
I was barely 20 years old when my father, Jerry, walked me down the aisle. I'd come home one year earlier from my freshman year of college, newly engaged and thrilled at the idea of being married. My parents were not so overjoyed.
I really didn't understand why my parents were upset. After all, it wasn't so unusual for girls my age to get married in my small Oklahoma town. Many girls married even younger than I did, right out of high school or even before.
I didn't think I was rushing into things. My husband and I met in college, and we didn't date long before he asked me to marry him, but we were engaged for just over a year before we said our vows.
You wouldn't know it to look at my dad's smiling face in all the wedding pictures, but the last words my father said to me we started down the aisle were, "It's not too late to change your mind." I responded by taking a purposeful step forward in my giant white poof of a dress.
At the time, I saw my dad's words at the wedding as being unsupportive. Looking back, as a parent, I can see that he just loved me and was worried I was rushing into a choice I might regret. At 20, I felt all grown up, but now at 41, I look back at my pictures and see such a young girl.
My dad turned 70 this year. The hair that started turning gray the year I got married is silvery white now. He and my mom love my husband, and they adore our kids. That rough year is long behind us.
In the end, I decided that my dad was supporting me on my wedding day the best way he knew how, by telling me it was OK, no matter what I chose, even to the last moment before I said, "I do." I know because once the vows were taken, he never stopped supporting my marriage, and that's what counts.
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