I get a haunting pit in my stomach now when Father’s Day approaches. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday, but working at a mortuary puts a twist on how you see special days like these. Every phone call has the potential to be a child/spouse letting us know that their father/husband has passed on. Or worse yet, a father is calling to inquire about how he should go about honoring his lost child. It’s a day I would rather not work but it does remind me how blessed I am to still have my dad around.
Today I want to honor the four father figures in my life by acknowledging a singular trait that I most admire in each of them.
Perhaps you will feel inspired to consider the lessons your father figures have taught you.
Sacrifice: A father makes sacrifices for their family. My own father is a perfect example. I cant tell you how many miles he has driven, or how many hours of overtime he has worked, to make sure us kids were always comfortable. The amazing thing about my dad is that he did all of this while still being active in our lives. There have been times where my dad has gone more than 24 hours without sleep, yet I still knew if I turned and looked behind the backstop at my little league game, I would see him watching and I could hear his voice cheering me on. I was ignorant of the sacrifice growing up, but now that I’m older and have begun making sacrifices for my loved ones, my appreciation has grown ten-fold for my “old man”.
A father makes sacrifices for their family.
Wisdom: A father will always share his wisdom. My stepfather is the wisest man I have ever met. The lessons he has learned in life have always been shared with me so that I could learn from them, and perhaps avoid making the same mistake. When I get into situation where I have a hard time making a decision, his voice and reason echo in my head, and help me to the right path. This is a gift I cannot give back, but I can surely pass it on, and for that I am most grateful.
A father will always share his wisdom.
Patience: A father is patient. This one is the most difficult. My uncle, Terry, is a very, VERY, patient man. He has this amazing ability to actually sit and think hard on what he is going to say or decide before he actually does it. The result? A soft tone when he disciplines his children, and an undeniable trust from his superiors. His children know that their father is not quick to judge them of harshly discipline them, and his bosses know they can trust him to take his time and make the right decision in any situation. I have yet to meet someone with the quiet strength of my uncle.
A father is patient.
Humor: A father is never too serious. My uncle Roy is the funniest person in my family. He is serious when need be, but he believes that this world is a funny place and it should be laughed at. It’s amazing to watch his children’s eyes light up as he re-tells a story, or watch his wife burst into laughter as he whispers something in her ear. All of this, for the sake of a punch line. My uncle Roy is a very successful man, and I think much of that success is from his decision to never take life, or himself, too seriously.
A father is never too serious.
I am truly lucky to say I have these prolific men in my life. There is always someone there to make time for me, someone to give me wisdom, someone to be patient with my mistakes, and someone always willing to make me smile.
Dad, Kev, Terry and Roy, I love you. Happy Father’s Day.
Who are you celebrating this Father’s Day?
What lessons have your father-figures taught you?