I have been thinking a lot about my father ever since we celebrated Father’s Day together earlier this summer. This is by no means the first time that I’ve ever thought about what makes my father such a special person in my life, but I have been far more intentional about reflecting on him in the past few weeks than ever before.
Perhaps I feel urgent about reflecting on my father’s life and impact because he is getting older and becoming more and more like an old man. I’m not sure, I just know that I feel like it is important for me at this stage of life to figure out just why I love him and then to share it with him. Being a writer, my emotions and thoughts are expressed much easier in writing than verbally, so I’m planning to make a journal of sorts about my father and to share it with him on next year’s Father’s Day. The very first thing that comes to mind when I think about the way I love my father is how he has always been the best teacher. He is the one that taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels and how to catch a softball in my mit. He is the one that helped me with multiplication tables when I was stuck and the one that took me out for hours of driving practice before I got my license. My father is a great teacher because he is patient, gentle and a great communicator.
Another thing I love about my father is the priority and commitment he places on our family. I have never seen another father who is so committed to family time and to being involved in the lives of the ones he loves. Far too many fathers are consumed by work, but not my dad. Throughout my childhood, teenage years, and no into adulthood my father has been the most consistent of any parent I’ve seen. I appreciate that consistency so much yet I’m not sure that I have ever expressed that to my dad. This is the year.
A third thing that I love about my father is the way he loves my mother. Everything I know about love I have learned from watching my parents love each other. I am well aware of the rare gift that is, and I cherish it closely. I want to be sure to communicate to my dad what it has meant that he has loved my mother in front of us so well for so many years.
If you are privileged enough to have a father, then I suggest that you start being intentional about loving him and about thanking him for all that he has done for you. There is no better way to honor a parent.
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