Sometimes I realize how short life can be and how I so want to be able to see my parents and talk to them. Father’s Day is one of those days, like Mother’s Day, that carries with it many emotions. As I reflect on my life and the important people that have made an impact on me I have to say that my Daddy was probably the greatest influencer in my early years. He and my mom raised a family in love and gratefulness, grounded in the faith that I still hold dear and surrounded us with support and encouragement.
The above picture makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I was pregnant with Micah (can you tell?) and my parents made the trip to Orlando to see me before the birth. I insisted that I did not need help during the delivery and afterwards and we compromised and they came before. I guess I was asserting my independence even in those days. Their visit was wonderful. This picture was taken at Leu Gardens which was one of my favorite places. Probably a pretty rare picture since he was the one usually behind the camera as you can see from the one hanging around his neck.
I realize that not everyone had fathers that were loving and kind and supportive. There are so many stories from friends of family ties that are severed and of traumatic childhoods. I don’t diminish those at all but I am so very grateful that I had the parents I had. How could they have known the influence that they would have on their children years later? I only hope my own sons will remember me half as fondly when I leave this mortal earth as I remember my own parents.
Did my parents have all the answers? Did they do everything perfectly? Probably not. No one does. Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world if you think about it. On the job training. But somehow we all muddle through and come out with some pretty incredible results at times.
So on this day after Father’s Day I hope that you can find some memories that make you smile. Even if it is not of your own father – maybe a father figure who made the difference in your life in some small way. We can choose to dwell on the sad and difficult times in our lives or we can choose to focus on the happy times. I will always choose that.
Today I remember the one dish my dad made – fried apples — and his love of making root beer floats for treats. Bringing home Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen. Taking me to a church meeting with him and sharing a box of Chicken in a Biscuit crackers. Putting ST37 on my multitude of cuts and scrapes. Sending yet another check to me in college because I had overspent again. Always patiently, always kindly and with love. That is his legacy.