Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fathers and Days

Dad and Mom Early Years

     Fathers’ Day weekend is soon approaching us. The Lord willing we will be spending it with children and grandchildren. We have planned and looked forward to this time together for months. Too many days pass between visits with the loves of our lives; children and grandchildren.

Son Michael, Grandson Connor, Napping Papa!
     Special days as these often bring ambivalent feelings our way. My father left this earth far too early for my liking but apparently not soon enough for his Heavenly Father. Daddy was neither a perfect man nor a perfect father by any means. He was human and flawed as we all are. He did not leave a legacy of monetary wealth.

     He did leave behind a valued gift in a letter. It was slipped into my suitcase as I packed to strike out on my own at the tender age of 18. In it he expresses his sorrow, in his mind, at his failure as a father. He also expresses his love for me and blessings for my future. It was his prayer that I forgive him of his shortcomings and understand that he loved me dearly and prayed for a rich Godly life for me. As the days pass, the letter grows in meaning as I come to understand more fully. It is tattered and worn from the many times I have read and re-read it. With each reading I gain newer understanding and appreciation of parenting.

                                                              Son in law Neil with sons
                                                                     Riley and Sully

     As I observe my children interacting with theirs, my heart grows tender. They all, in- laws included, are such wonderful parents. I am so very proud of them as I am of the spouses God sent them. It is those times when I observe them with their children; I am reminded of Daddy’s letter. We see both our successes and failures as parents within our children.

Michael watching over his
children at play
     I miss my Daddy and realize more each day that he did the very best he knew. Regretfully, we often relate to our parents as children rather than as adults. Our behavior can be hurtful and childish. My prayer has become that of my Father’s. Through him, I have learned the value of forgiveness and learning and gaining wisdom in our mistakes. Finally, I have come to a place of peace and acceptance that we can only do our best and trust God for the rest.  Forgiveness; a wonderful legacy from a father!

Papa and grandsons
Connor and Joshua

     The following quote was chosen recently for friend’s memorial. While the author is unknown, I wonder if it also was slipped quietly to a father's child.

“No matter who your father is or was,

Whether a great man or someone who

Left a lot be desired,
There is something in him that you can

Learn from, something that will make you
A better person”

Author Unknown

                     Happy Father’s Day!

Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (9) for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

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