This week I’ve been reflecting on the men in my life, my dad, my husband, my father-in-law, and my son.
I used to dread Father’s Day. It was a reminder to me of what I didn’t have. When my dad died, my sister was seven, I was five and my brother was two. My mum did an amazing job raising us but there was still an ache in my heart and an empty seat at the table.
At school, every year as Father’s Day approached, I would watch the other children decorate cards with hearts and kisses to take home as gifts for their dads’, and it made me feel so alone. I think nowadays there are many children who don’t have a father in their home, but back then, I was the only one so, while the others made cards, I would sharpen the teacher’s pencils.
There were many special moments later in life when my father’s absence was a painful reminder, like when I graduated from college, or when my husband, Barry, and I got married. Both the day I became a wife, and later, the day I became a mother, while they were such joyous days, have forever been redefined by loss.
However, when our son, Christian was born, Father’s Day took on new meaning for me. It was no longer about loss but the joy of watching my husband love our son. Barry is not athletic (we both consider a brisk walk towards the coffee machine our morning burn) yet he made sure that Christian got to do everything he wanted to try. They went hunting, and fishing and scuba diving. They played football and soccer.
Father’s Day became symbolic for loving someone else more than yourself and showing it in a million little ways – the same way that Christ does for us.
When my mother-in-law Eleanor died, my father-in-law, William, moved in with us. He was seventy-nine years old. Our son, Christian, loved having his Papa with him 24/7. I remember the way they laughed together and the silly dances they would do around the dinner table.
William was such a sweet man. He liked to travel, so he came with us to all my speaking engagements and would help Barry at my book table, often being asked to autograph my books! I loved having a dad in our home, so I wanted to find ways that William and I could do things together. One night, I told him that whatever his favorite TV show was, I’d watch it with him.
Unfortunately, it was wrestling.
On the day that I became an American citizen, William gave me a gift. I could tell that he was really excited about it.
“You are going to love this!” he said.
I opened the package. It was a t-shirt, but not any old t-shirt, it was this, a Hulk Hogan t-shirt!!
I…treasure it to this day ☺
I don’t know what Father’s Day is like for you. It might be a day you dread. It might be a day that reminds you of what you don’t have. It may be a day you celebrate. Whatever that day is like for you, my prayer is that you would remember that you have a Father in Heaven who loves you every day, who will never leave you, who will never fail you. You might even want to make Him a card! Every day for us is The Father’s Day.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18
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