Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Dad passed away almost eighteen years ago. Stricken with cancer, we watched our once vibrant, athletic father slowly fade from life. We miss him.

I still dream about my dad regularly. Most of the dreams I have that include Dad are very positive. Every now and then, I'll dream a dream about Dad and he's angry with me for some reason. But those dreams don't happen very often.

This morning, we visited Clear River Community Church. Pastor Jeff Ling delivered a wonderfully uplifting message on the four things fathers want to hear. They are:

  • "I miss you, Dad."
  • "Thank you, Dad."
  • "I forgive you, Dad."
  • "I love you, Dad."

Last night, we attended a retirement party for a long time friend of ours. Mark had worked for the Post Office for over thirty years, and his wife, Peggy, wanted to honor him for his hard work and now retirement.

All five of Mark's offspring were there, along with several grandchildren. After we filled our bellies with roast pig, pasta, and beans, several of his kids stood up and honored their father with words of gratitude.

"Thank you, Dad for working so hard all those years. Sometimes you worked two jobs just to keep us fed. You did whatever you had to do so Mom could stay at home with us."

Hearing those words made me proud. Not only am I proud of my good friend, Mark, but of all the hard-working dads in my circle of good friends who have faithfully provided for their families. These men have worked long years and often under difficult conditions—sometimes even working two jobs—to provide for the basic material needs of their family. But it did not stop there. Most fathers I know have also disepensed wisdom, counsel, guidance, and most of all, time and attention to their children. Even today, as "empty nesters," my friends Mark and Peggy make regular weekend trips to Richmond to support their kids' musical endeavors.

Happy Father's Day to all who, like my own father and my good friend Mark, have, as Pastor Jeff said this morning, "done what is right."


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