The evening was drawing to a close and it was time to take his date back to her apartment. This was the second time they had gone out, and he was feeling pretty confident about this new relationship. As they exited the truck, and made their way up the steps, he found himself wondering if he should kiss her. As they drew near to the door, it burst open revealing a small child, barely two, wearing a soggy diaper that reached her knees. She grabbed onto the leg of his new lady friend and shouted “Mommy!” The sound of that word gave him chills. She didn’t say anything about having a kid he thought as the fear of the baggage began to consume him. He thought about turning around and getting in his truck and never looking back. But he didn’t, and two years later, this same child threw flowers down an aisle in a small chapel located in the cove of a lake preparing the entrance for he mother, the bride, to walk down the aisle.
I do not remember these pivotal moments in my life, but my dad does, and he jokes with me often about how he should have ran at the site of me. I spend every Father’s Day thankful that he didn’t. I am thankful for his choice to stay and get to know the little rug rat that clouded up his mind and his future plans. Throughout the years of my childhood, we had some amazing memories. He taught me how to ride a bike, throw a ball, drive a tractor, feed cattle, ride a horse, cook a mean burger, and fish. We worked at our family restaurant together and would ride home after a hard days work just he and I and talk about how our day went. He taught me about tools as he would ask me to pass them to him as he layed working under a tractor. He held me when I got my heart broken, and ran off the guys that he knew were no good. He taught me how to be responsible and on time. He worked hard, sometimes a little too hard, to provide for me, my mom, and my two younger sisters.
There were times in my teen years however, I wish I could forget. They were full of pain and hurt as our family of five fell apart and crashed into a divorce. I resented him because I felt as if he didn’t want me, and he resented me because I was my mother made over. We hurt each other with painful words and actions and drove a wedge between the special relationship that we had. I do not remember what it was that made this period in our lives heal; I am sure it was many things, but our relationship was mended and became stronger. I finally began to respect the man who chose to be my father. I began to see the time and energy it took for him to develop a relationship with me, and how he learned how to love me as his own.
I see this love in my life as a Christian too. I see love that goes beyond blood lines and genealogy. I see agape love. I see a family bound together by the grace given to us all through Christ Jesus. My dad made a choice many years ago to take me under his wing and love me as his very own. This love has opened my eyes many times to the love shown to us through our Heavenly Father. He chose to create us so He could love us, and so that we could love Him. A father’s love is a very special gift and something we should all be thankful for and strive to imitate in our own lives with our own children. Remember your Heavenly Father this Father’s Day, and the man who He blessed you with to be your earthly father. For some, like me, our fathers chose us, for others, we were chosen for our fathers. Whatever the case may be, may we all continue to be thankful for the first man in our lives and show them the love and respect they very much deserve.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you very much.