Our small group class just completed a book by Meg Meeker, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. We didn’t anticipate the length of time it took for us to get through the book; however, it was very fitting that we concluded it on Father’s Day. We spent the last several weeks reading and discussing topics surrounding young girls and the crucial role dads have in forming and molding them into confident secure women. The book emphasizes the importance our husbands have in our daughters’ lives and also the importance our dad had in ours.
My Dad was no doubt a “Strong Father” and I pray I honor his investment into my life by striving to be a strong woman. My Dad had a sense of humor that was incredibly witty. He had such a way of making people laugh. My Dad was a giver. On more than one occasion he stepped in and paid a few of our client’s auto insurance policies; he’d help people out with a utility bill; he gave away a car to a family in need; he treated people to dinner all the time. My Dad was a hard worker. He didn’t have any hobbies, which made it challenging to be close to him. His work was his life, and if we could be a part of that world, then we got the benefit of him being a part of ours; which had its pros and cons. More pros.
Dad passed away on August 29, 2005. I cannot believe it has been almost eight years. After he passed, my Mom and I kept our family accounting business running until we sold it. I remember sitting at his desk and hitting a road block. Instinctively, I reached over, picked up the phone, and before I dialed realized that he wasn’t there to answer my questions anymore. It was perhaps one of the scariest feelings. I was married with two small children, but I had such security in knowing that I could still consult my Dad when needed.
There are days, like today, that I feel so sad my Dad has missed all life has brought us over the last eight years. Caden was born a year after his passing on August 15, 2006. How much I wish Dad would have been in the waiting room to celebrate Caden’s arrival, as he was for Brooklyn and Jaron. I know he would have been ecstatic to see Brandon graduate from Oklahoma State University with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2007; and then to have been here to welcome Gavin into the world July 13, 2009. Last year, I longed for his presence to watch me walk the stage as I graduated from the University of Oklahoma. I was 31 years old, just finishing my degree, but I know he would have been so proud. After all, he was the first person in his family to graduate from college at the age of 30 from Northeastern State University with a business degree.
Fittingly, today, we celebrated Father’s Day attending the Broadway musical, Disney’s The Lion King. I woke up thinking about my Dad this morning, and felt such comfort when the show opened up with the powerful song, “The Circle of Life.” There I was, sitting beside my husband, amongst our amazingly healthy and strong four children, and I thought….
“This is our time. Our time to give to our children, to mold them into the people God intends for them to be; to plant a desire in their hearts to honor their Lord with all of their being. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord that my parents gave that to me, and help me in all my inadequacies and shortcomings to give that to my children.”
It is a circle. We get to take all the good we received and pass it on to another generation. My Dad would have done a lot of things differently, I know because he expressed that openly, and I identify with that thought. But what’s hopeful about a future is that we choose the part we get to put into it. We can’t control the future, but we can control how we deal with it. I learn from the mistakes of my Dad, and I aim to carry on and pass on the goodness that was within him.
Today was about dads and I feel like my children have the best. My Dad would be so proud of his grandchildren’s father, and that is perhaps the greatest testament to his life. He was a strong father, who raised a strong daughter, who chose a strong husband, who is raising strong children. That is a circle, friends! And it is beautiful!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ”There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (NIV)
A beautiful song by Mercy Me portrays the emotion I feel when I think of my Dad.
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