Sunday is Father’s Day. A day we celebrate Father’s of all kinds. The Soccer Dad’s, the science fair Dad’s, the teaching Dad’s, and the “there for you” Dad’s. Father’s Day isn’t always easy because of divided homes. I see that more now in my job as a counselor than I feel I ever did. Like many holiday’s, Father’s Day can be pretty difficult when brokenness enters the picture. I get that. It’s hard for me to change that perspective once I’ve been exposed to it, even when I haven’t experienced it. I can’t have empathy in that sense, but I have sympathy.
I have many father’s in my life. The two brother’s I never had growing up, Randy (who married my sister Nicole) and Noel (who married my sister Robyn). And of course my father Russ. All three loving father’s, all three caring husbands, all three point to Christ.
I grew up with two sisters my entire life. I’ll say that for a large portion of that, I was exposed to dress up, putting on plays, and generally “not typical boy stuff.” I think I had asked my mother for a brother a few times, but eventually gave up once I knew what I was asking for wouldn’t come to fruition. As I grew up, I was protective of my sisters. Nicole and Randy started hanging out when she was in high school, so I’ve known Randy most of my life. Also, I was pretty stoked to have a brotherly figure in my life. When Robyn started dating Noel, I could not have been more happy. Noel was a kind, fun, full of life man whom I very quickly approved of. All of a sudden I had two, incredible brothers in my life and was loving it.
When the two of them became father’s, I was even more impressed with how they approached being a father to their children and more importantly, how they included God in their journey to reflect Him in everything they did. I was humbled that God had put these two incredible examples of fatherhood in my life.
“What about your own father? Yeesh. You haven’t mentioned him yet…awkward.”
Dad. I know growing up, life with your father was not easy. I know that your relationship with him was strained. I know you loved him in your own way anyway. I know that when Nicole was born you had thoughts about what you would be like as a father. I know you then thought about what it was like for you as a child. I know that you made a decision to break cycles, speak love often, be more present, provide well, care more, and give when you could.
KNOW that growing up I saw that man. I felt your love often. I heard your love frequently. I saw God’s love…through you. I learned how to be a good father well before someday having children of my own. I also saw your commitment to our family. I was shown how to be a better man. I was shown how to treat women, children, and friends. I was taught how to resolve conflict in a relationship, how to love well, and how to keep important things important.
Dad, I love you so much. I feel like we’ve grown a bit apart since I’ve moved away, but I want you to know that I love our talks. I love when you speak into my life and give me advice. I love when you talk me off the ledge when I’m freaking out about something. I love how similar I am to you, that I inherited your infectious laugh, love for movies, and sometimes brutal honesty. I love when I’m told that I look like you and that I am a blessing to you. I love that I reflect the Father by just reflecting you. And I love being your son.
Dad, thank you for being in my life. Thank you for teaching me God’s love. Thank you for being a constant source of encouragement and teaching. I have to say, I’ve never really welled up writing to you before, but for some reason that happened three times, haha.
I write these things publicly because I am proud of you Dad. I am proud of the father you were/are and the grandfather you are. I am proud of who you were to me and are to me. And I am so very proud of your life. I love you, so much, and want people to know how cool you are, haha.
Happy Father’s day Dad. Go enjoy some golf.