“It’s all about being thankful for what you have, not you don’t have or what you’ve lost.”
Ethan Lanphere is a student at Cornell University and the oldest of three boys. Three months ago, their father was no longer in the picture.
Since then, Ethan told BuzzFeed News he has been trying to step up to the plate as much as he can. He lives about two hours away from school, so it's been a challenge.
“It's been kind of hard to watch over everybody,” he said.
His mom, Heather Lanphere, told BuzzFeed News that her job as an OB/GYN means that she works long hours, and so her sons have to watch over each other often.
“My boys have always been good at looking out for each other,” she said.
This Father’s Days, Heather said that she tried to prepare her youngest son, 9-year-old Jackson, to be without his dad. She told him that his class may make crafts and gifts for their dads, but he shouldn’t feel pressured to participate.
She also told him that his teacher would understand if he decided to do something else instead while his class was preparing for the holiday.
“I put the seed in his head that it was coming up,” she said.
Both Ethan and his mom said they were kind of dreading the holiday.
“It was a sad day,” Ethan said. “It was the first day in God knows how long that I didn't have a father to celebrate.”
Heather added that the day was especially painful because she also lost her own father, who she shared her medical practice with, less than two years ago.
“I was not looking forward to Father's Day at all,” she said. “I was very nervous about it.”