Today is Father’s Day. I have been thinking of the fathers I know. All of them are totally different personalities. I have learned many things from these men, positive and negative. The most important part of learning from others is not to repeat the same mistakes but learn from them.
My maternal grandfather was always fun to be around. He would pick me up from my house on Fridays so I could sleep over. One of his favorite past times was “junk collecting”, I loved to go with him. While driving and “looking for the right junk” he would tell me stories about the area. He loved to tell the “I remember when stories” as we traveled around the town or city.
His cellar was loaded with all types of “treasure”. My brothers and I would go down stairs with him to see the newly acquired “stuff”. In those days, my grandfather found many things lying on the side of the road. I still own two brass chandeliers, which he gave me when I moved to my own house, that he found discarded by the side of the road.
My maternal grandfather and my father did not speak to each other for eighteen years. During all those years he was still faithful to his grandchildren. He would visit, when my father was not home. When my father was home, he would respect him and not go into the house but wait patiently for his grandchildren to bring them to his home for a visit. In all the years that the “feud” went on, I never heard my grandfather say an unkind word about my father.
My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease when he was in his mid 70s. I have many fond memories of him and his love for me and my brothers.
My paternal grandfather was cranky and cantankerous. I do not have a lot of good memories about him. He would complain about everything. In my grandparent's house was a very small pantry. This pantry contained the stove, refrigerator, sink, cabinets and a very tiny counter top. There was enough room for 1 adult to do the cooking and cleaning.
Every Sunday, when I was young we would visit my grandparents. We no sooner stepped over the threshold then my grandfather would start to complain about something. He did not want the kids to touch the candy, which was left in many candy bowls throughout the house. We could not eat or drink anything unless we were in the pantry. There were five of us so we would all have to go in the cramped pantry and eat or drink.
The only memories my own children have of him are “I was always afraid of him”, “”He was always yelling.” My memories of my parental grandfather are not “warm and fuzzy”. The memories are of an old, crabby, and bitter man.
My father did not have a good role model from his own father. My father’s goal in life was, “I don’t want to be like my father”. To this end he worked very hard. He spent time with his children. He taught us many things: playing basketball, riding bikes, and fishing to name a few.
My father did not have a high school education, yet he was a very smart man. He had his own contracting business for many years. He was a hard worker who provided for his family. He was always there for me no matter the time of day.
My dad was very sentimental and very emotional. He would cry very easily. I remember one time shortly before his death, when my family went down to visit him. He lived in FL while I lived in New England. When we arrived at the house, he was standing at the door, crying like a baby, because he was overjoyed to see us.
He was also a “worry wart”. He would worry about things that might happen. I sometimes think he would not know what to do if he did not “worry” about something.
I am so thankful for the father God gave me. He was not perfect but he was mine and I have many loving memories of him.
Another dad I knew was my father-in-law. Unfortunately I only knew him for 5 years before he died of cancer. He was an orphan at a very young age and reared by an aunt, who was not very kind. He did not have a father so his parenting skills were nil. He loved his seven children and wife but had a hard time showing it.
He was an alcoholic but always handed his check over to his wife so the children would be feed and clothed.
My father in law would give his wife a “darling wife” birthday card and not sign it. When questioned about this he would reply, “she only has one husband.”
Here are a few of my father-in-laws sayings:
What my necktie pay attention.
You can call me anything but late for dinner.
It’s a long ride home give the children some cookies for the ride. (we lived 15 minutes away)
The father of my children
My husband is a wonderful man. He is a hardworking man who loves the Lord with all his heart. He is
not demonstrative but his children know he loves them dearly. He was brought up in an Irish household where stoic is the main word. He was taught from a very early age that “boys don’t cry”.
Mark has always been there for me and the children, who are now adults. He worked extra jobs when the children were young so I could be home with them. He went to Bible College at night while working a full and part time job. Many nights he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to complete homework assignments.
He still works a full time job while pastoring a church. He is one of the most dedicated and faithful men I know. I am so thankful for a godly husband. I love you, Mark!
Today is Father’s Day, thank a father who has been an encouragement to you. Think with me of the “fathers you know”. Do you have great memories of your dad or grandfather? Can you remember playing a favorite game with them or maybe having a “scary” story told by them? Maybe you don’t have good memories as I do but do not despair.
You have a great Father in Heaven. James calls him the "Father of lights", he never changes. He is better than ten earthly fathers. God is always there right by our side. He is a kind and compassionate Father. The Bible is rich in descriptive words explaining our Great and wonderful Father in Heaven.
Here are a few verses to get you started:
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.Psalm 103:13
I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.Psalm 17:6
Happy Father’s Day
Have a blessed day,