Monday, June 21, 2010
A Priceless Gift: A Legacy of Love
Yesterday was Father's Day. I spent the day thinking about dads. I am still thinking about dads.
At church, we had a speaker from PAC (Pregnancy Alternatives Center). Her speech was timely. It reminded me that there are fathers that have done nothing more than father a child. I wonder what these father's think about on Father's day. Do they regret? Do they care? Do they imagine what they are missing?
My dad is a wonderful man who has always been there for me. He was at every event possible. He attended most all of my activities. He cheered me on, clapped for me and took tons of pictures. He was very involved in my life. He was present. He made his participation an outpouring of his love. He showed interest in what I was interested in. He knew me. Throughout my life, he has never changed. He has always been there. I live thousands of miles away from him. Still, he calls me. He is interested. He'd do anything to be with me and my family. He is a constant for me.
My husband is "Daddy" to my four kids. He plays hard, enforces the rules, and loves tenderly. I watch my daughter with him and I know he's on the way to becoming her hero. I watch my oldest mimic dad and I treasure how much he admires him. I watch my middle son beam when he is complimented by dad and I know that he esteems dad in the highest regard. I watch my youngest compete with dad (often for my attention) and I smile at his desire to be strong like his dad. My husband is more dad than I knew he would be before we had kids. I thought he would be fun dad. He is more than that. He is also disciplining dad. He is encouraging dad. He is loving and adoring dad. He is an amazing dad.
I have a friend that lost her dad this year. She has been on my mind and in my prayers this week. I imagine the pain that Father's Day brings. I imagine the emptiness that is made real during the dad celebration. I remember her dad. I remember her connection to him. I think about how he shaped her into the person she is today. I thank God for him and pray for her comfort.
I have multiple friends that don't live with their children. They are dads that are separated due split relationships. I have gotten a glimpse of their longing to be more connected. I cannot imagine the internal struggle the distance creates. Some of my friends got a chance to celebrate with their children this Father's Day. Some didn't.
I know dads that are not biological fathers. They father with heart and soul. Their children are not missing anything. They give. They love. They bring height and depth to the word dad.
I have dad friends that felt burdened by failures on Father's Day. I was touched yesterday by words from two of them. One of those dads wrote this post on Father Failure: Father's Day is for Failures
I keep thinking about Father's Day.
I realize that a dad's love is different from a mom's love. I love the difference.
I am thankful... for my dad, for my husband, for my friends, and for those that have gone before and left a legacy of love. Dads gift their children with love. It is priceless. It is powerful.
I appreciate all of the different dads that I know. They each give and love in unique ways. I am thankful they chose to be a dad.