Today is a special day, a day that is worth remembering as far as I’m concerned. Today if Father’s Day. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a dad (for some obvious reasons), but I’m sure glad I had one.
Most men I have known never thought they were going to be “tied down” with kids. Sure, men enjoy the process of creating a life, just not the announcement that they’ve achieved it. I can imagine that for most guys, the joyous announcement that “we’re pregnant”, which is made by their wives (or girlfriends) is a bit like jumping into an ice cold swimming pool – it momentarily takes the breath right out of your chest and your brain begins to scream, “You idiot! What did you do this for?” Just dealing with the realization that in a few short months you’re now going to be responsible for making sure this new little life has food, and clothes, and a warm place to live, has to create a good deal of stress for men. Unfortunately, just that realization alone is enough to drive some men away. But for those that stick around, the joys that their new son or daughter brings seems to make up for all the worry and frustration that was present a few short months before.
As I said, I’m so glad I had a dad. Any many can be a father, but it takes a special guy to be a “dad.” Today, I’d like to take a minute and recognize five guys that are in my family that I think are great “dads.”
First, my dad, Mike. My dad is my hero. Some of you may not know it, but up until I was 6 my dad was a single dad. That’s right, he’s one of the guys that stuck around and took care of my brother and I when our mother didn’t. He had a lot of help from my grandparents, of course, but the point is he wanted us. My dad was a fun dad. He let us bend the rules (sometimes too far) and take risks. My dad taught us how to drive a car, and to work hard, and to be better than people expected us to be. He taught us to rise above adversity, and showed me what responsibility looked like. I love you daddy, and even though I’m all grown up now, I’ll always be your little girl.
Second, my son-in-law, Rene. What a guy! I love this kid like he were my own. He is an amazing dad to his three girls, and he loves them with every fiber of his being. He takes them to the zoo and the park and to church. He reads stories with them and plays games with them. He chases them around the yard and knows how to make them laugh. He teaches them about Jesus, and about nature, and how to properly appreciate pizza. And he’s never too busy to kiss their ouchies, or hold their hand, or tell them he loves them. He demonstrates the love of Christ in his home as he cares for my daughter, and he leads his family by example through prayer and hard work. He is an awesome guy, and we’re so proud to have him as a part of our family.
Third, my brother, Kelly, who has an 8 year old son, Mychael. Kelly shares custody of his son with his ex-girlfriend, and he’s been so faithful in making sure that Mychael knows how much his daddy loves him. He picks him up from school and takes him to soccer and the movies, and he spends the night with him and reads stories to him. Kelly takes him to visit his Nana and Papa, and his GiGi. When Mychael was a baby, Kelly would get up and walk the floor with him for hours when Mychael would wake up crying. There was nothing he liked more than to hold his son close to him and tell him how much he loved him and how special he was.
Fourth, my father-in-law, Pap. Pap passed onto glory nine years ago from cancer, and our family still feels the emptiness of the loss. What an amazing man of God. He had the kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. He taught his kids how to love Jesus and how to work hard and how to treat others with respect. He demonstrated Christ to all he knew, and he was a man filled with integrity and character. He also worshiped the ground that my mother-in-law, Nan, walked on. Watching the two of them together was like watching an old movie – the kind when love was worth living for. The love they shared for each other was so obvious. Oh how I miss Pap, but I know he’ll be waitin’ for us at that great reunion in the sky.
And fifth (but certainly not last), my husband, Sam. Words just can’t express how much I love this man. I’m so blessed to have you for my husband, and your children are lucky to have you for a father. And even though the kids are grown now and have started their own families, you are still a great dad to them, and an excellent Grandpa to the girls. The girls are going to learn so much from you – how to fish and how to love Jesus. They are going to see a Grandpa who loves their Grammy, and a Grandpa who is a man of strength and integrity. They are going to see a Grandpa who prays and reads his Bible, and a Grandpa who isn’t afraid to take a stand for what’s right and good. They are going to see a Grandpa who is kind to everyone and who treats everyone with respect and in fairness. And they are going to spend time with a Grandpa who is fun and funny, and who works hard for his family. They are going to see you.
These are just a few words for the special men in my life. I hope you’ve taken time to talk to your dad today and you’ve wished him a Happy Father’s Day.
And to all the dads out there – Happy Father’s Day, from me. I hope you have an excellent day.