Happy father’s day to all the dads out there. I hope a wonderful and loving time is had by all and that it is seen as a special day by all.
It has only been in the past few years since I was forced into “early retirement” obviously because of my health, that I have been allowed the time, the luxury of just being able to sit back and think. As I am just an average guy I assume my average guy thoughts are typical of many. So as I think back to past events or times in my life I imagine many can relate at least in some way.
My own father passed over in 1985 but I think back to the father’s days prior to his passing and what it was that I did or more importantly what I didn’t do to mark those special occasions.
Here I go with my “excuses”. Right out of high school I was hired by the bank and almost immediately transfered to a different town about 600 miles away. Never again were we to ever live in the same community. So OBVIOUSLY I was unable to have dad over for a big family BBQ in the back yard with all the family around. I realize now I chose to limit myself to be obligatory phone call on father’s day. I am sure all either know or can at least imagine the type of phone call I am talking about. “Hi happy father’s day”. Fill in a minute or two of idle chatter and then say I have to run. Again wish him a happy father’s day and hang up. Feeling almost relieved that one more obligation is out of the way and I can get on with my life.
I realize now that some where along the line I came to view that phone call as an obligation, something I was expected to do. Some how I allowed in my mind the day to become just another day, but with one in which I was obligated to make a phone call. Maybe in some ways almost like an inconvenience or bit of a worry about maybe forgetting about it all together. Make the call and it was almost sort of a relief, “phew, got that done for another year.” I have to wonder how many other have allowed themselves to think of it in that way. Likely, not many that will admit it even to themselves, it just sounds so disrespectful. I wonder how much is done, be it family get togethers what ever, that are done out of this sense of obligation as opposed to truly being a gesture of respect and thanks.
In my thoughtful moments I have come to view fathers day from I suppose 2 different angles.
Father’s day as should Mother’s day be seen as special days. Each is but one day of the year in which we can show our respect and gratitude in this case to our fathers for what they have contributed to our lives. Granted there are always exceptions and I do acknowledge there are some that aren’t deserving of any thanks. I am not going to go into that now as I do believe these are in the vast minority.
As adults how do we recognize our fathers on this day. Let’s face it father’s day is seldom really a full day or recognition. It is more often limited to the “phone call” which may take mere minutes. It may take a few hours if it includes some sort of family get together. When you think of a few hours in relation to the number of hours we have in a year, it is a very small percentage. It is only now, well after my father passed away that I can really see how in the big picture of my life, how little effort it would have taken on my part to make “his” day at least a little more special.
I hope and pray that tomorrow, when the obligatory phone calls are made or the family functions are attended we can bring our focus, our mind sets to the real reason for the day. To give honor and respect to the man, with out whom we would not even exist. Truly giving this short period of time, really putting our hearts into it does really to me seem to be a pretty small price to pay for out very “existence”.
The second way I have learned to see the day is actually from the prospective of being a father. This is a day meant to be for fathers. As such I think it is also a day for the fathers to really look at their lives. To look at the roll they are playing in their children’s lives as a father. It is the fact that I have children that is allowing me to be “honored” on this day. Let’s face it simple biology allows virtually every male to become a father, but it takes a man to be a father.
I know most dad’s are out there struggling day by day to be the best father they can. This being a parent thing is hard, there are no exact training manuals covering how to deal with so many of the individual situations we encounter and we do our best and hope for the best out come.
I encourage all fathers to take a few moments of quiet time and silently reflect on how we are fulfilling our “duties” as a father. To celebrate the small successes occurring on a daily basis. Admit we have made mistakes, look at them and learn from them. Take this time to enjoy and appreciate the wonder of being granted children. Feel the love for your children and make and internal vow to be the very best dad you can be in this upcoming year.
I hope all have a wonderful, love filled day.