I was sitting in church this evening with my parents and a blessing was given to all of the fathers in the audience. It was a beautiful blessing. We had just celebrated Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday.
All of a sudden I was overcome with all of these thoughts and emotions of the man next to me – literally a rush of seratonin coupled with memories flooded into my brain. It was a lot to take in, so I left to write this down.
My father is a great man, in so many ways; but he is in fact, just a man. Not perfect, but perfect in his intentions and his love for his wife and his kids and grandkids – my mother and my brothers and my sister and their wives and husband and their kids and their kids-to-be, and their dogs.
No different than any other little kid growing up, I was in awe of my dad. He seemed like a superman to me. But as a teenager, I could not figure out how clueless this man became. Then just a few short years later, I came to realize how wise he truly was, how caring he was in his actions, how much he truly loved us, even if he didn’t often know how to say it.
As a kid, your father is your everything. To love him is to be safe in his security. You knew nothing bad would ever befall you. As a teenager, a chasm forms where you don’t see eye-to-eye with anything he says or does, and in fact cannot figure out why you should ever listen to him and make a promise to yourself that you never would.
It’s in those moments when I believe a father shines, sacrificing his children’s affection for raising them the right way. And if he did his job right, they’ll come around. In the sermon today, the priest talked about how a father cares and how he forgives. I also believe one of the true signs of maturity and adulthood is also the ability to forgive your parents.
As an adult, you finally realize how difficult a task, what a thankless vocation, parenting truly is. It is truly a labor of love; and you have to be so very strong to be a good parent. You’re always the bad guy. And the truth of it is, that many times you don’t know what you’re doing. And you hope and pray how you are raising your child is the way they should be, if even there is not only one way (and there isn’t).
Many of my friends and family members are now dads, and I see first hand how both insanely difficult and intensely rewarding fatherhood is.
By the time my father was my age, he and my mom had already had all my siblings and me. I was a teenager by this point. I cannot fathom what it would be like to be raising four kids at this point in my life. Someday I’d love to, but I’m amazed that my father had the love and strength to do so.
I’ve been forever enriched by his criticisms, his love and his guidance.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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ALWAY BE EPIC
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