Sunday, June 15, 2014

Here's to the Fathers

Flying a kite with Dad

In case you’ve forgotten, today is Father’s Day. But even if you did forget, I can’t blame you. Nobody seems to give a flying fig about Father’s Day in comparison to Mother’s Day: there’s hardly any store displays, cards, special gifts, or advertisements “just for Dad.”

Why is this? Why has our culture pushed fathers into the back corner?

My own dad will be turning 61 this year; he is 41 years older than me but a lot tougher. During the week he wears a coat and tie to the office, and on the weekends he mucks around on our farm cutting down trees and repairing lawn mowers and tillers and working as hard as any 30-year-old. He always makes a point about showing me how something mechanical works, and I have always found this very handy when the warning light for something or other goes off in my car (and waiting 3 hours for AAA to come isn’t an option). 

At Niagara Falls

 My dad taught me how to love books, how to appreciate old movies, how to shoot a gun and clean it afterwards, how to fly a kite, how to check the oil, how to mow the lawn, and how to make people laugh. Dad has a fabulous sense of humor that never fails to make me crack up, even in the most depressing situations (like when it took 3 and a half hours to pry the old license plates off my car). I am extremely grateful for all he has taught me, and I never realized just how much he has taught me until I went to college and had to live on my own.

Of course, it hasn’t been all butterflies and roses; all fathers and daughters squabble and annoy each other. There are many things I want to share with him that I am afraid to bring up, and there are days when I have to (grudgingly) remind myself to be patient with his hard of hearing and obsession with watching Perry Mason. It has been a cross that has taught me a lot about humility. 

Vic Morrow with his family (around 1960)

Wherever your dad is today, say a prayer for him. Call him if you can. If you haven’t talked to him in a while, make today the day that you take the first step towards repairing your relationship. If there is a serious obstacle between you and your dad, such as years of abuse, or hurt, or rejection, perhaps consider praying a Rosary Novena. I am on Day 3 of mine and already I am noticing a difference. Here is a link to one:

Thanks, Dad, for all you do, noticed and unnoticed. And thanks, God, for being the perfect Father.


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