I always find Father’s Day a bittersweet experience for me. On one hand, it is sweet because I remember the love that my father shared with all of us as a family. On the other hand, it is bitter because my dad died twenty-five years ago, and I still miss him.
I still marvel at his ability to love all twelve children equally and have enough energy for all of us. He was such a hard worker and loved to do projects around the house. For me, some of the most tender moments were when he cared for me as I lay in a bed for weeks trying to recover from back problems as a young teenager. He would come to my bedside each night after he got home for work and just sit and chat. I found out so much about my father and his own family in those moments.
I remember how trusting he was in our ability to do our best at school without him having to hound us. He trusted that “we tried our best and our best could do no more.” Yes, I remember many fine moments of a wonderful man who loved his wife and children with all his heart till the day he died.
The one thing that I remember most is how his faith shone like a bright light in the midst of darkness, doubt and fear. He truly believed in God and his goodness no matter what happened. He was a man of simple, but profound faith and I rely on that witness more each year I live. The love we shared still lives on in me and today I celebrate it.
My hope for all whose fathers are still with us, is that we express our affection for them today; that we do not wait a day longer to do so. Today we have an ideal excuse to lavish some gift or gesture on them for the love they have shared over the years. If they are older now and failing in health, all the more reason to tell them how much we love them and thank them for their gifts of love in their youth. If we are estranged from our fathers, then maybe we can try to reconcile and leave the past in the past. Maybe just for today we can suspend our hurt and love them as they are today. And if our fathers have died, then maybe we can say a prayer for them asking God to continue to bless them and help us to celebrate the love we shared.
No matter what, today is a day to recognize the love of our fathers. Today we love our fathers and say Happy Father’s Day.