Another Father's Day! Many emotions flood our hearts about fathers. There are at least three categories that may come to mind: 1) Your father was hard-working and provided yet may not have been talkative. 2) Your father passed away (mine did). So, this is a commemorative day with tears or events flowing through our minds. 3) You did not know your father for a myriad of reasons, or they did not provide funds or stability for you.
Let's address the readers whose fathers passed away. When my father died on America's Tax Day, 4-15-2005, I couldn't believe that he was gone. I thought that he would revive after his surgery. He didn't. I felt as if my bike-riding accomplice left. After all, he removed my training wheels. I missed the one that put my Chatty Cathy doll's desk together. He wouldn't be there anymore to split a hostess Twinkie four ways with my older sister, younger brother, and me for his birthday before he dashed off to drive the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus for an afternoon shift. The person who shared my fright while I was learning to drive, couldn't pump an imaginary brake on the passenger's side either.
Father's Day was particularly hard for the first two years after he died. I heard others talking about what they planned to do with their fathers. My father was gone. It felt similar to losing my father-in-law years before. My father-in-law died a few months after we married. I wanted both to stay with us longer than the time God ordained for them.
It reminds me of Psalm 139:16 (Amplified version): God saw our unformed substance; in His book, all our days were written and appointed for us when none of our days had taken shape. We always want more time. So, today can take a heavy toll on our memories. May God heal our broken hearts, Psalm 147:3.
Next, fathers did not provide for their children financially or emotionally. As children or adults, we wonder why this circumstance invaded our lives. Our mothers or caretakers may have attempted an explanation, or they may not have. The difficulty their absences caused is not erasable. It doesn't mean that we didn't forgive them. I personally helped employees (co-workers) ferret through their feelings and sense of loss when I worked on employer sites as a registered nurse. These emotions interrupted the workday often, in my experience. Psalm 68:5 pertains here: God is a father of the fatherless. May God strengthen the resolve of all those who walked through these painful times.
Lastly, we want to commend those fathers who bore the heat of the day as they worked to support their families. They may have worked as blue or white-collar employees. Mandatory overtime or mandatory travel could have made them miss important events. Yet we survived those moments. Traditionally, fathers coached teams and taught bike riding or driving. The lessons that we learned often stick with us for a lifetime.
Proverbs 13:22 (a) says: A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children's children. Those lifetime lessons include monetary inheritance as well as a legacy of internal compass examples. April Osteen advised in her 2023 Father's Day memories on YouTube that legacy is what fathers leave inside us.
Calls to Action:
Spend time with someone in-person or via Zoom, Facetime, or What’s in the next month and share 1-2 legacy points. Share the experience on the website in the comment section.
Purchase "Live Abundantly" or "Fully Persuaded Faith" at: https://www.marilynnjames.com. Both books point to legacy opportunities.