When I was in the US Air Force after I was married but before we had children (actually before Sigrid had children) back then shortly after Easter in 1980 I happened across a tremendous card that was pitch perfect for my dad for Father's Day.
I was in the Rhein-Main Base Exchange and the thing you have to know about US military overseas shopping opportunities, be they the exchanges (like department stores) or the commissaries (like groceries) when you see it on the shelf, buy it. There's no 'look in the back room for more' no 'we're expecting another order in a week.' It really is a case of 'he who hesitates is lunch.'
When I saw the card, I knew it was ideal for two people who had long ago come to the realization they had nothing to say to one other but neither wanted to be the first to admit that because an admission such as that would be giving up and these two Thick Micks never gave up, ever.
Our relationship, and as I discovered, that of my brothers and sisters as well, to varying degrees, frequently had more turbulence than tranquility. I used to say my father was the angriest man I ever knew until I caught a glance of myself one morning in the mirror. I then stopped saying that.
The card captured all of that and when I got home I signed it, wrote a note whose every word I still remember, addressed the envelope, put a stamp on it and put it in the hand tooled leather carrying bag Sigrid had gotten me for our first wedding anniversary and into which I dropped any number and manner of objects as I went about my life.
I next saw the card some six months later when Sigrid, Frau Ordnung Muss Sein, was cleaning out my bag and held it out to me in soft and silent reproach as we sat in our living room. She pursed her lips and waited for her spaetzen-hirnn husband to grasp what the object in her hand was and then, realizing he did, slowly shook her head.
For my part, chagrined as I was, I insisted it wasn't that big a deal as I could save the card for next Father's Day and thought no more of it. Sadly, the universe did. My father was to die in his sleep of an attacking heart the following May. The words I'd always meant to say but needed thousands of miles of ocean to actually write were never shared.
I became an adult when I bought my first beer legally. I became a man when I took a wife (or more exactly, when she married me). I became a father with the birth of our son, Patrick, and of our daughter, Michelle. When I looked at my dad 'back in the day' I saw him differently than I do now, shaped and formed by a crucible of events controlled and beyond our control each of our lives has contained.
I've learned not very much in six-plus decades here on the ant farm except, tell the people you love that you love them when they and you are here so they know it and don't be surprised that they already did and that in their own way they love you too.
To my brothers and my brothers-in-law, fathers all, and to you and yours as well and always, Happy Father's Day.