Father’s Day. Not just a Sunday in June, but a two week stretch with which I have a love-hate relationship. It starts with the first “remember that special dad with a new tie TV commercial” and ends with the US Open winner raising the trophy. The first five years after my father left this earth this June fortnight stabbed at my heart. Then my daughter arrived, a few years later my sons–and Father’s Day now feels like a national holiday. The best day of the year, except for the big regret that my kids have to grow up without MY dad. So how do you balance the two? How do you reconcile such love and loss? It’s easy really. I look to my right as my daughter rolls over in her deep sleep, putting her arms across me as I type. That’s all I need. Dr. Harvey Preisler lives in my children.
Dad, you unknowingly taught me the dos and don’ts of fatherhood. You weren’t perfect and by no means am I, but I feel your presence in every interaction I have with my children. I see the love I have for you in my boys’ eyes when they run to me after a long road trip. I hear it in my daughter’s voice when she says “snuggle me.” I feel the pain left by your absence when I’m away from home. You are with me every moment. I would have thought that by the 12th Father’s Day without you the hurt would ease. I am wrong. Instead I love you and miss you more and more. So happy Father’s Day. Dad–and thanks.
—Mark Preisler is the executive producer of the NHL Network.