Today is my first Father’s Day without my dad. I can’t explain how much I miss him, and I’m still processing that he is no longer here on Earth. I’ve been delaying my grief. His words of encouragement, the way he supported me in anything I ever wanted to do, how he always told me he was proud of me being the bravest of his children, his immaculate grilling skills and cooking lessons, his lectures on the important things in life….yeah. I miss all of that. My father, Raymond, tried his best to teach life lessons while he was here. Now that he is gone, I can only hold them in my heart. Our fathers, stepfathers, uncles, and the stand-up men in our lives who have been there for us – even if no longer here-have taught us lessons along the way. Even if they are or were absent (voluntarily or involuntarily) it’s a lesson to be learned and shared with the world despite the pain we may feel. I’ve thought about a few ways to celebrate this day no matter your situation!Carry on the good legacy. This past weekend, I had my first photo session as a “photographer”. I got home and remembered what I forgot…wow my Dad was known for taking wedding photos locally back in the day. I’ve picked up a hobby of my father without knowing. He also was a local barber and that’s something his Jr, (my brother) should pursue-if you ask me. Was there any trade or skill your father was passionate about? Go do that today. Celebrate his life and legacy by eating his favorite foods, going to a special place, or watching a favorite movie. Better yet, come up with a plan to honor his legacy by creating a business in his honor that you can one day pass along. If you never knew him or he wasn’t present…Celebrate the person who is in your life. There might have been a male figure who has been important and filled the gap. Let them know how much happiness they have brought you as a father or male figure. Take today to have a detailed conversation about their take on fatherhood and what means to them. Interview them by asking questions you wish you could ask dad, and find out more about them and their favorite things and memories!If you are a male, find someone who looks up to you and let them know that you fully support them and their dreams. That could be a nephew, god-son, a kid who hangs out at the YMCA or Boys and Girls club. Give the hope you wanted to get.What is the common thread here? Celebrating goodness despite the pain. Keeping the good memories in the forefront keeps us in good spirits and hope. If we lose hope -we have nothing. And I can only hope day after day, that I will do things that will make my father smile upon my life.