Today is Father’s Day. I think in alot of ways we don’t honor the influence of our fathers in our lives. For some they didn’t have their father’s influence, or even presence, in their lives. As I was posting a photo of my dad and I on Facebook, as were many today, I couldn’t help but think about how he’s influenced me and who I am today.
You see I am as stubborn as a mule, something my mother reminds me that I get from him. Another thing is my smart mouth. There’s also the tenacity to figure out something on my own, whether through trial and error or by seeking out additional knowledge. He is also a wildly independent provider, not seeking to rely upon others but forging ahead himself. He taught me what it meant to work for what you earned, even when you didn’t feel like it, even when it was hard and you really didn’t like it. It had to be done, so go and do it. He was thankful to have daughters, but I was every bit the tomboy I think he needed. We see war movies, talk about bluegrass, and find ways to work in his shop together.
While it wasn’t perfect, and nor is he, I know I am blessed to have a dad whose in my life and I can still call. He can tell with one word that something is wrong. I thought about that today as I called my dad after church-a weekly tradition I have with my parents. Dad always sounds surprised when he answers the house phone, even though they have caller ID. I think for a while I have taken that for granted, that my dad is always there when I call, always answering with his gruff shout of HELLO!
I thought about that today as I made that call because I knew a friend couldn’t call his dad today. I thought about all those Father’s Days my mom couldn’t call her dad because he passed twenty-plus years ago. I thought about my own dad who couldn’t drive out to see my grandfather, the second year without him on Father’s Day. Today I grieved a bit for my friend who lost his dad just a month ago, for my mom who lost her dad and my dad who lost his dad just two years ago…and I started thanking God I still have my dad this side of heaven. It’s pretty selfish to think that, but it’s also incredibly gratifying to not take those moments for granted…even when I get frustrated or irritated with his stubbornness or lectures on buying quality leg spindles for a table we are reconstructing.
I am grateful for the fathers who are present and influencing. The dads of friends who have been around and been a guiding force in their lives, as well as my own. I am so very thankful for my friends who are dads now, getting to see them raise up the next generation and do so very well at it. Most of all I am thankful for the time I have with my dad, knowing that he lives on in me in so many ways and yet I can still call him when I need him most.