My father was my first love. I was his favorite child. Although he loved and adored all of his children, it was obvious to me early on that I was his little mini me. He had a zest for life that I fell in love with.
My dad was an adventurous man. He loved exploring. On the weekends he would seek out fun things to do. Nature hikes, art museums, concerts in the park and festivals of all kinds were typical weekend outings. He would invite the whole family to go and for whatever reason, I was usually the only one interested. We went fishing a lot.
So, when my father proclaimed one night at the family dinner table that he was going to start taking one child per month to do something special together there was no surprise that I was first. I don’t think he ever go to my siblings because it was always my turn. Although I’m sure that was difficult for my siblings to not have that special time with dad, they never seemed as interested as I was.
When I met my late husband decades later, I immediately recognized this zest for life that my father had. Glenn was so much like my dad. He loved to have fun. To cook and eat great foods. He was well read. Funny. He loved the arts. But most of all family. Like my dad, my late husband had figured out the secret of a happy life long ago. A simple life where family and love meant most.
They both made many sacrifices for their families and would often talk about the adventures they would have. My father used to pray for excitement and adventure at the dinner table. “Give us excitement and adventure,” he would say, “Oh, and bless the food. Amen.” My late husband would muse about all the places we would go and things we’d do together. Yet, they were always working to provide for their family so much of this talk was musing about what if…
Neither of them ever made it out of their 50s. My dad was 55 when he died from a long-term illness and my late husband at 57 when he died suddenly of a brain bleed.
So, here we are on this Father’s Day in 2020. It’s been seven years since my late husband died and 33 since my father passed. Yet, the positive influence they had on me is as strong as ever. As a matter of fact, I’ve found that over time the wisdom they gave me grows and helps me to guide others with it. I’ve taught my son and grandkids this zest for life. To seek out what you don’t know and to understand it. To look for the good because the bad shows itself. To find joy in each day. To love your family and friends and to make each day count.
My father taught me grit and how to survive in this world. My late husband taught me how to love deeply. They both left me with a great wisdom and gift that planted itself in my heart forever. I’ve found that in times of trouble or when life is not so great, I draw on this wisdom to help get me through.
I honor them on this Father’s Day. I honor all fathers today. You DO make a difference whether you know it or not.
Happy Father’s Day.