Yesterday we celebrated all things Father. Even though it’s usually not a big deal in my family, and in fact my dad only laughed when I wished him a Happy Father’s Day (he thinks it’s a holiday completely fabricated by Hallmark), it was still a particularly poignant one.

Primarily, the fact that my father actually made it to see another Father’s Day was a beautiful thing. I got to sit down with him yesterday morning and pig out on my mom’s famous breakfast cake. This act in itself is a marvel for which I am extremely grateful.

Furthermore, we had the rare opportunity of sharing the forbidden cake of goodness with two of my other siblings. Given that one is in the military and the other lives in Australia, this is quite an unusual confluence.

And, as if that weren’t special enough, the former sibling is about to spend the next four months in a far-off dusty country surrounded by people trying to kill him. The fact that he made it home this weekend, Father’s Day or not, was a huge blessing both for my dad and everyone else.

As I watched my brother playing with our 2-year-old great-nephew (don’t ask), I have to admit that my eyes were slightly more damp than usual. Some distant day in the future, my own little brother will also be a father. Up until that moment, this hadn’t really occurred to me as a potential reality.

Last, but definitely not least, I spent the afternoon sitting in the blazing sun with my future in-laws, watching the future father of my own children receive an award for excellence in teaching. I am not sure which of us was the more proud.

So fathers of all kinds abounded yesterday – the future, the potential, and the blessedly, breathtakingly real. Hallmark-generated or no, this Father’s Day I celebrated all of them, for together they are the most important men in my life.