Father's Day, by tradition, ends up with hand-made cards stuck to the refrigerator and a promise to do whatever Daddy wants.
Go fishing. Take a hike. Play cribbage. Watch TV. It doesn't matter because it's Dad's day, so he gets to choose.
Some fathers, however, would choose sitting in a dark closet without food or fun over what faces them on the outside. Some fathers struggle with the worst that could happen - a sick child.
That's what Ryan Brown, of Fort Dodge, and his wife, Hope, have faced every day since just before Christmas last year. Their 3-year-old son, Kelvin, has bone cancer. Osteosarcoma. It's rare, doctors told them. But it's there just the same.
And the family is fighting back. Little Kelvin gets chemotherapy treatments regularly, often worn out by the ordeal.
Today is a big day for the Browns. Today friends and family are helping them face their problems square on. There's a "Sundae in the Park" benefit today at First United Methodist Church. Only it's inside, not outside on the lawn, so no matter what weather blows through, the benefit will be fine.
Young John Daniel and Mary Kay Daniel are spearheading this benefit, John said, because this hits close to home. His child is the same age as Kelvin. It's one of those there-but-for-the-grace-of-God deals. It can happen in an instant. It can steal your reality, twisting and turning it to little more than just holding on.
That's why the Daniels got involved. When facing such sickness, there's nothing to do but help. Any way you can.
And on this Father's Day, that help comes in the form of a big party. A celebration, even.
This benefit pulls out the best in people, allows them the chance to do for others. Maybe it's building karma for themselves, but it's also building hope and faith in a family fighting hard.
"We're going to have a magic show with Larry Dunbar from 5 to 5:45 p.m.," John Daniel said. "Then he's going to make balloon animals until 6 o'clock."
There will be sundaes for everyone for freewill donations, and tickets will be sold to use in children's events. A bake sale and a silent auction also are planned. The benefit is 4 to 7 p.m.
Mary Kay Daniel said silent auction items include the likes of gift cards, wine baskets, even passes to the aquatic center.
The benefit seems fitted to Father's Day, a day when fathers are honored and the world offers hope for the future.
Even if you can't go, you can always write out a check. Make it payable to Hope and Ryan Brown and drop it off at Daniel Pharmacy. It's one of those things that puts a smile in your heart.
So write your check, and have a happy Father's Day.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.