Did you have one growing up? A perfect father? I didn't. The only one I knew of was a guy named Jim Anderson (Robert Young). We watched him every week on Father Knows Best (1954-1963). Looking back, I wonder how daddy felt watching a show that revealed how much he was lacking as a father? But he was in great company because there were many in those post-war years. They were so very young, and didn't have a clue about how to raise a family. Most were guided, if at all, by fathers who were strong, silent, and lacking in tenderness. "Suck it up and deal with it, John Wayne, cause you have a family now." And so they did, or tried to.
My dad chose alcohol to change the view, numb the pain, and allay his fears. Thankfully, he was a nice drinker. No violence, no cursing, a steady worker, and good provider for mother and my three siblings. But he was emotionally and sometimes physically absent. Some of my friends had it much worse, and their wounds run deep.
But today isn't about the sorrow of yesterday. It is about joy today and what we have learned along the way. My dad would be completely supportive of me writing these details. He was an honest man and I respected him for it. In his later years, he became the dad that we had longed for. Returning to the faith of his youth brought healing to his damaged emotions, which made it possible for him to become who he had always wanted to be. And his healing, brought our healing. It is what God intends for all of us. Lay aside the past and its mistakes, wrong choices with unintended consequences, and live today with new hope for tomorrow.
Listen up men, it can be the Best Father's Day Ever! Your children still need you, regardless of age. Your grandchildren, if you are blessed to have them, want a grandpa to hug and follow (plus ask you a zillion questions). You have so much to offer. Not always been the man you wanted to be? Start today. My dad would assure you it is never too late!
A comforting thought for me came the day I realized I did have a perfect Father. He was there all along, hearing every prayer, seeing every tear, hurting when I hurt, and laughing when I laughed. But mostly waiting...waiting for me to see Him, to love Him, and then to follow Him. To Him I say with all the love in my heart: Happy Father's Day, my Perfect Heavenly Father.