At the turn of the 20th century, a gal named Sonora Dodd was a pioneer in starting the celebration of Fatherhood in honor of her Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart (who was a single parent that raised 6 children). You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father’s_Day.
Father’s Day has brought mixed emotions in my household because there was a time that I was not close to my father, or I should say, he was not close to us. I grew up primarily in a single parent home with a Superhero Mom. She did the best she could to raise 4 children, me being the most handsome and strapping of them all (so I say).
It was tough not having a dad during my formative teenage years. I felt an emptiness which I was later able to define as a father wound. I didn’t know who I was because I didn’t WHOSE I was. I felt lost and alone many teenage days.
I’ve come to learn that many adults have the same wound and it is hard to talk about. Maybe during Father’s Day they experience feelings of being uncomfortable, irritable, angry, moody, depressed. Maybe it’s not a pleasant time but they sludge through at a gathering of sorts.
For the last 10 years, I’m proud to say that my father (I call him “Apa”) and I have the closest relationship we’ve ever had. We talk every week, visit each other, do road trips, hug, kiss each other good bye, pray for one another, and even cry with each other. There have been many “I’m sorry’s” and regrets shared.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who had a great upbringing with a “Super Dad”, you’re so fortunate. You felt the influence of a father who was present and available to you; someone who showed you the ropes and provided safety and strength when life got crazy. You’re blessed (a theological word that means…well…blessed).
Many still don’t have the blessing of their Apa. For those, I pray you’d be comforted.
Many have lost their Apa. For those, I pray you’d be consoled.
Many are learning how to be good fathers, present to their children. For those, I pray you’d be given wisdom, love, and strength.
Happy Father’s Day.