Sometimes, I wish Father’s Day would go away. I wish Hallmark and Dayspring would forget to print all those cards…Not because I didn’t have a good dad. I did. But for the sake of the children who weren’t so lucky. Because for those children, young and old, Father’s Day is a reminder of loss and disappointment.
Setting aside a special day of respect to recognize the lives of deserving dads was a wonderful notion. And I’m acquainted with many men deserving of a day in his honor…and the attention it brings. There’s the gifted and talented young musician who accepted a workman’s wages and released his grip on a musical career; because his wife and little girl were more important to him. They were his responsibility. They were his priority. I know that dad personally.
The young soldier who, upon returning from deployment in the Vietnam War, worked full time in a textile mill at night and attended school full time during the day; so that his wife and baby wouldn’t have to do without. They were his responsibility. He did what was neccessary to better the lives of those he loved.
The divorced dad who gave up career opportunities; advancements that would have required him to move away from his little girl. His love and devotion to her was more important than money, so he stayed nearby and did what he could.
The widowed dad, grieving and heartbroken over the loss of the love of his life, who soldiered on anyway, because his love for his children was just as powerful as the love he had for his wife.
The man who married the mother of fatherless little children and raised them as his own…knowing their biological but negligient parent could enter the scene at any time. Yet his love for the children was greater than his fear.
These dads and others like them positively deserve to be honored on Father’s Day and every other day of the year. But what about the others, the ones like my former spouse, who shirked responsibility and walked away? How should Father’s Day deal with them? Personally, I believe these guys should use Father’s Day as a day to apologize to those they’ve hurt; weep for those they’ve wounded and abandoned. It won’t happen of course. Never, Neverland Boys are incapable of feeling empathy for others, even their children. Yet I hope… I hope that at least one might read the letter I’ve posted in this article; a letter penned by my son a few years ago… and feel a bit of a tug on the cold, rigid muscle he refers to as his heart…and attempt to right some wrongs. Perhaps a few others might do the same.
Fathers, Who do you think you are?
By: Garrett Able
Written at 4:17 PM, August 4, 2009
Fathers, who do you think you are?
Who are they exactly? Dad, Father, Pops, all these names are talking about the first true hero in our lives, the first real “Man”. As kids we are always saying, “My dad can beat up your dad!!!” And the rebuttal, “Well, MY dad can lift that car and put it on your dads head!”
As kids we are so in love with our fathers. As we grow older we become more and more like our fathers because our admiration towards them is more than we can understand. It is so strong sometimes, you take on every characteristic of your dad. And to a loving father, this is the greatest sign of admiration! Of an unconditional Love that runs so deep…the jelly sandwich he made you the night before last was the most amazing bit of food you ever ate. And the one tomorrow will be better even than THAT one. What I don’t understand, is why do some wish they had a better life?
I was seven when my dad showed me his better life. Instead of doing what most dads do and leave their family, my dad was sick minded enough to take me along. Her name was Lorraine*, she lived in Pine Log, not far from my house. My “Father”, my “Hero”, would take me “fishing” but before we got to the lake we would pick up this woman from the country corner gas station. She would then join us and once we got to the lake I would take my rod and fish while my father left me. I was seven. A child. Once he had his fill of filth he would retrieve me. Tell me, ‘don’t tell mom I had a friend.” This continued for the longest time, this secret life I was forced to share with my father, all the while I was there watching, listening and hurting. I was seven years old when I became a bigger man than my father. On the way to tennis practice, we all ended up at the country corner store one evening…my mom, me, my father and Lorraine. I turned to my mom and told her, ‘this is dads’ friend”. She asked me what I meant and hell broke loose in the store when I described the relationship between my dad and this woman. In front of me, my father denied what I said. In essence calling me a liar. My father broke my mothers’ heart through me because he didn’t have the balls to tell her himself.
This happened two more times, (that I’m aware of), the most recent was two weeks ago. I am 19 years old. Except I feel like I have been 25 since I was 12. My father had a wife who would NEVER leave him. A BEAUTIFUL wife, a loving daughter, and me. His “Buddy” he called me. I am successful, smart, funny, talented, loving, compassionate towards others…but he didn’t want me enough to stay, or any of us for that matter.
The Love that ran deep has only made a scar. I am nothing like my father. At twelve I knew I didn’t want to be like him. My hero died on the beach of Lake Allatoona.
So this is to you fathers out there: If you are faithful, stay that way. You will be rewarded greatly with Love and happiness and moments where your children want to squeeze you because they love you so much. And kisses from your wife that make you melt like it’s the first kiss you ever had. You will see your children grow and look at you like, “There is Superman, he is sitting right there in front of me…across the table and he is my Dad. MY dad.” Your daughters will mold who they want to LOVE out of you!!!! You, who cuts the lawn and drinks out of the jug of milk and chokes on it when your beautiful wife comes into the kitchen and catches you. DON’T LET THAT GO!!!!!!!!!!
To those of you who are not faithful, it’s time to rethink the pros and cons. YOU WILL BE DISCOVERED!!!! YOU WILL BE UNVIELED!!!! YOU WILL BE MADE TO LEAVE!!!!! Because you are WORTHLESS!!!!!
But I do Forgive him.
If you are tagged it’s because you either already know, can help my mother deal with this, or because I think you should know.