Every year, we celebrate Father’s Day. It’s interesting because Father’s Day is recognized as a holiday in our country but I realized I don’t really know too much about the history. So, I did a little research.
According to the records in the Library of Congress, it all started in 1910 when a woman named Sonora Dodd, whose mother had passed away from an illness, was raised by her father. At this time, Mother’s Day already existed even though it was considered an unofficial holiday. In the town of Spokane, Washington, where Sonora lived, people celebrated Mother’s Day for years and it was quite a big event. So, Sonora thought that if we celebrate mothers, we should also celebrate fathers.
Years later in 1972, President Nixon officially made Father’s Day a national holiday in the United States. I found out that Father’s Day is celebrated and recognized in over 120 countries. The United States ranks as the number one country for Father’s Day celebration and recognition. Hallmark Cards ranks Father’s Day as the fourth largest holiday, as anywhere from 72 million to 75 million Father’s Day cards are purchased every year. If you ask me that is a lot of cards!
When I was younger, we always celebrated Father’s Day either by going camping or just giving my dad a rest. I believe Father’s Day should be celebrated because my dad has always worked really hard to make sure that we had everything that we needed to be successful in life. My dad worked a lot and was always at the office. He tried his best to leave early and attend baseball, football and hockey games when he could. Unfortunately, that didn’t always happen. It’s funny because now that we are both older, my dad is winding down and retiring, while my career and life are keeping me as busy as ever.
In talking with my dad, I think a day like Father’s Day really means more when you have a child that has a disability. I know my dad never really shows how my disability affects him, but I know it’s always in the back of his mind. We all know that having somebody in the family who has a disability is never an easy task.
At almost every clinic or Abilities Expo that I have attended, I see the dad or the father figure pick up and transfer their child who has the disability into one of our power wheelchairs. And their son or daughter experiences life at iLevel® for the first time. Unless you have somebody who has a disability in your life, you have no idea how much moms and dads actually do around the house, especially when it comes to transfers.
A few years ago, I asked my dad what he had wanted for me and my future. He told me that he wanted me to be independent, happy, and hardworking, and to do more for others than I would do for myself. This has encouraged me to help so many other individuals with disabilities. The most rewarding thing in my life is when an individual gets into a Quantum® Power Wheelchair with iLevel and they have a smile on their face. They truly experience independence for the first time.
So, this year for Father’s Day, I didn’t get my dad a present or a card. We did spend some time together after dinner and while we were having dessert, I said “thank you.” I said those two words and he didn’t say anything back. He just smiled. I knew I had given him the perfect gift. It didn’t have to be anything expensive. I showed him some appreciation and recognition for all the things that fathers do.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click hereto learn more about Josh.