This line of a prayer takes on a new meaning when it is our father and not the Heavenly Father we are thinking of as Father’s Day arrives. The man who was there for us – changing our diapers…or not, teaching us to ride a bike…or not, walking us down the aisle…or not. It does not matter what he did or did not do for us, all that matters to our hearts is that he was our dad and we remember him each Father’s Day. It would be wonderful if each of us was given the gift of a father like Pa Ingalls, Sheriff Andy Taylor or Dr. Cliff Huxtable or any of the many doting dads portrayed on TV. The truth is some of us had fathers more like Homer Simpson – well meaning but not the best dad out there. Our dads were not given a script to follow and they did the best they could with what they knew. They loved us in the best way they could – and we loved them back.
On Father’s Day we think back to our childhood and all of the years since and remember those moments we shared with the man we called, “Dad.” Whether he was your father from birth or someone who became a part of your life and served willingly in that role, he made an impact on who you are today and for that we continue to honor him. For some this may mean visiting the cemetery and bringing flowers or a can of beer to his grave. For others it may mean bringing the family together in celebration as you continue traditions set from generations before. Perhaps you will attend a mass at church and send prayers of love to those wonderful men who have shaped your life.
I heard the story of a woman who took her three year old daughter to church on Father’s Day. She kept looking at the ceiling as the mass took place. Finally she asked her mother, “Who are all of those men up there?” Her mother looked at her and replied, “It must be all of our fathers joining us today as we remember them.” From the innocence of a child come the words of comfort we all need to hear. They are with us still – on Father’s Day and every day.
Nancy Weil is a leading authority on humor and grief. She serves as Director of Grief Support for eleven cemeteries and is a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Grief Management Specialist. Through her company, The Laugh Academy, she offers products to ease the stress and pain that grief can bring. Bandages for Your Heart on DVD or CD, Laugh for the Health of It on CD and her new book, If Stress Doesn’t Kill You, Your Family Might, can be ordered by clicking here.