Father's Day is here and felt it fitting to write about what this day means to me. Last night, I sat awake thinking about the future and my first born, Andrew who is now 10 years old and on his way to the 5th grade. In 8 short years, he will be graduating from high school and moving on to college and out of the home and for me, that was a frightening thought that brought instant sadness to my heart.
This sadness welled up from a flood of images and memories of a little boy watering his dad's roses, and another of a 3 year old, in rain gear, stomping around puddles at our Roseville, CA home. The thought of seeing my son walk away from me, pained me to no end. Even now, writing about it, hurts. I cannot keep him forever and at some point, I will have to let go as he begins to take flight without Mom or Dad around. For years, this life has been dependent on me and has given me his unconditional love. What am I so afraid of? If we walk in GOD's light and I have taught him 1/2 of what was given to me from my parents, then he will truly be a wonderful responsible person.
I was blessed to know my father for 32 years before his passing in late 2004. I still find myself at odds with his passing, wrestling with the thought that he simply gave up his life without fighting. Maybe he was just too tired, or he listened to all the pessimists about his prognosis. But I reflect on the good times that we did have together and the times that he was there and shared in my joys, my sorrows, and through it all, I know I could count on my father. My father was cut from different stock than our overly politically correct society is today. At times, in passing, it seems odd how we interacted, but from his standpoint, he was doing everything taught to him by his father. I didn't play catch with my dad in the front yard. We didn't build model airplanes together. I don't remember one time my father got down on his hands and knees and played with my cars or action figures. Did that make him a poor father? No. It was the societal norm at that time. He was there to carry me when I stepped on a nail. He was there to pray to GOD over my broken jaw from a Little League mis-hap. He was there at the football games and supported his children in anyway he could.
As I started to have children, I had no idea that the amount of love I could have in my heart could expand so much. There are three large events in my life that mean the world to me and for better or worse, make me who I am:
- Marrying Cynthia Page
- The death of my parent in 2004
- The births of my children
I placed those out of order, because on this Father's Day, it is very important that we celebrate the trials and the tribulations that have befallen us and prepare for those still yet to come. Being a father means knowing your boundaries in being a good friend or being a good model for your children. Having a balance and rearing your children to such a degree that when I am 50, looking back on my children, I will without a doubt be proud of the experiences and the love I shared. If you can do that - then you have done a great job.
If you think that when you are 50, you could have done things differently, or you should have been more patient (as I need to be still), then it is not to late to make that change - for you and for your children. As Whitney Houston has sung, the children are our future and their loving upbringing will be our legacy to this world - we get one shot at doing it - do it right!
With love and prayers this Father's Day - and with God's blessings,