To father a child is not the same as to serve the role of a Dad. My respect for the love, caring and extraordinary effort that it takes to perform the duties of a Dad grows each day.
My own father rose early every morning and labored hard to bring home enough pay to keep food on the table for a large family. When not at his place of employment, he struggled to keep our car functioning, often with what seemed like bubble gum and bandaids. In the silence of his mind, he worried about unpaid bills, the rearing of his many offsprings and the health of his aging parents and in-laws.
There was no time to dwell upon unfulfilled dreams. A few dollars left at the end of a paycheck meant he could buy a bag of apples or watermelon from a produce stand. Life was not easy for my dad. He did the best he could. He taught his children to respect others, to be polite and gracious, to be thankful for every gift and not complain. For this, I will always be grateful. I miss my Dad.
My husband also is a Dad, a very good Dad. He was not priviledged to have a Dad when he was a child. Yet, somehow, he learned the importance of the role. For forty years, he has been present and active in his daughter’s life. I measure the success of his efforts by the person Laura has become. He taught her to believe in herself and have the confidence to succeed in whatever she chooses to pursue. They spend many hours a week staying connected and sharing the joys and frustrations of life.
So I take this opportunity to remember my father fondly for the years of caring and guiding me into adulthood. I thank my husband for the commitment he’s made to being a wonderful Dad.
I extend a round of applause to my brothers, Rob, Larry and Craig, and nephews, Robby, Jeff, David and Kyle. It makes me proud every day as I watch you shine in this significant and challenging role with your own children. We are blessed that you have taken your role to heart and make such a difference in our world. Hope I didn’t forget someone, but remember, I’m over sixty now and there is that senior moment thing 🙂
Do you have a memory or special story to share about your Dad? I’d love to hear about him.