don’t be fooled: this post is not about television.

There are a handful of shows on TV these days that I watch regularly. Most of the time I do that on the weekends via Hulu. Tonight I watched the most recent episodes of Parenthood on NBC (the second-to-last episode of the series!), and Mom on CBS. I also watched the final episode of the unfortunately canceled NBC show A to Z, but this post is happening because of the previous two.

On Parenthood, the family patriarch, Zeek, is  – to make a long story short – dying. He has a heart condition and although they don’t know how much time he has left, it is what it is. Meanwhile, his eldest daughter just got engaged. She’s in her early 40s and has adult children and she’s finally found love. But her dad is sick. She and her fiance Hank have been talking about fancy wedding plans, but with everything going on with her dad Sarah sits down with Hank and explains that she wants to get married locally, and soon, like next week (aka the last episode of the series), because “I just want to make sure that my dad is there.”

And suddenly almost 23 years of FEELINGS came pouring out of my face. There haven’t been many instances in the past couple decades where I’m anything other than matter-of-fact about my father being gone, but apparently I have a trigger. The last time I was overwhelmed with this particular emotion was sometime in the fall probably, when I thought about Kyle and Jenna’s baby-to-be and how dad won’t be here to meet his first/likely only grandchild. So I guess my trigger is Important Life Events That Dads Should Be There For, like weddings and babies.

Anyway, later in the evening I watched CBS’s Mom, and Christy’s dad Alvin, who only recently came back into her and her mom Bonnie’s life, dies suddenly (in the middle of bangin’ Bonnie). Christy spends the episode trying to keep it together for the sake of her kids and Bonnie, but at the very end she’s crying alone in her bedroom. Bonnie comes in to comfort her and at one point Christy says something about how she had so little time with him. Well I was still all fragile after Parenthood so I went ahead and lost it again.

Listen, my brother and I have an awesome stepfather (he and mom will be celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary this summer) who we both have been calling our dad for so long that I don’t remember ever calling him anything else. We’re not lacking in the father department. But shit, man, it sure would be nice to have both of them, y’know?


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