top of page

Happy Father's Day

June 16, 2024

Yesterday was Father's Day and I thought about my own father and the father figures in my life that have influenced me.

My father was a tinkerer, a person whose brain was filled with wonderful ideas and who could fix just about anything, he was brilliant, and worked hard to provide for his family. My father was also a functioning alcoholic. I think the early traumas of his life (eg. WW2) left him scarred and then when my mother contracted polio early on in their marriage it just paralyzed his heart and soul. He was well known and respected in the community, but we seldom got to see a man who would protect his family and lead it well. But he gave me a love for reading and a persistence even when things got difficult.

My uncle (with whom I lived for 4 years) was an older gentleman and most protective and caring. He and my aunt took care of me while my mother was hospitalized for 4 years and they gave me a good foundation in life. I remember daily walks in the forests where we would see nature and his big hand would hold mine to protect me. I remember stirring honey with him (he was among other things a beekeeper) and to this day I love the sound of bees and the smell of smoke and honey.

There was Roger G., I met him and his wife Joy when I first came to the US, I lived with them for 6 months and loved the role model he was and how we raised his children and interacted with people around him. He pastored a church in Bluefield, West Virgina and he was compassionate and well-rounded and taught me to love life. After my bike accident he and Joy took care of me, carried me to the bathroom and then stood guard outside to make sure I would not fall again. He taught me much of what kind of a man I wanted to marry when I was ready for it.

And then there was Jim Z. the most kind and gentle man who I have ever met. He was one of my early bosses when living in Pasadena and his gentle spirit would touch my soul and teach me to not hold a grudge. He was also the person who gave me away in my wedding. He struggled with Parkinsons and the way he managed this disease encouraged me to not give up when things got tough.

I had pastors in my life who led me well and brought me closer in my relationship with God. I have friends who are just a little older than us who have modeled fatherhood well and brought up their children in ways that honored God.

None of these people were perfect, and I often wished my father was more than he was and would have stood up for us and protected us, but I also know now that he was the best version of himself that he could be.

And then I have a heavenly father who loves me unconditionally and on whom I can rely even when fathers fail me.

Who are the fathers in your life? How did they affect you? How did you manage when the people who should have cared for you were unable or unwilling to do so? What did you learn from that?

Can you be a father figure to a child? Many of our young people are growing up in fatherless homes and are desperately looking for role models that guide their lives. You could volunteer with CASA, or volunteer in a community center that does youth activities, or volunteer in your church to work with young people. You can make a difference in the life of a child. Happy Father's Day!

bottom of page