Blog: Remembering my dad this weekend (6/18/22)
I try hard not to let Father’s Day be sad for me since my father is no longer alive except in my heart and mind.
As I think about how I could honor my father this Father’s Day, I think of him not just as a father, but as a man with dreams. I know that when he became a husband and father, his family topped the list. This mostly impacted his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and yes, the great-great-grandchildren who were born during his lifetime. One thing I never questioned was his love for me and his family. Very early in life I learned that he loved me, he rejoiced in his grandchildren.
I don’t usually take risks, but my dad was always willing to take risks. He ventured into new jobs and careers where he seemed to have no experience and succeeded. Age never entered into the decision of whether or not to start a new job.
I grew up in a house my father built with wood from trees grown on our family’s farm. He harvested them and had them ground into planks. He sealed the house with borrowed tools. I don’t think he understood that he couldn’t do what he wanted. He would find a way.
Growing up on the farm, I had no idea financially that we could be “poor” because I never failed to have what I needed. The most important thing I had was his love. He not only taught me right from wrong, he also taught me that once I left his house, I would be responsible for making my own decisions. He emphasized that I was allowing God to play a role in these decisions since I would be responding to him.
He taught me not to judge other people by the way they were dressed. There is more to a person than clothes, houses and what they drive.
He also made sure I knew there was more to life than growing up on a small farm. I don’t know what his agreement with my mother was, but he liked to invite people to eat with us on a whim. She always managed a meal. Often the guests were the evangelist who spoke at the church revival or the missionaries on leave from around the world.
He also instilled in me the desire to be the best. If the best I could afford was nosebleed seats at an event, great, but if I could afford front row, go for it.
In some ways he was strict. Going to church was a must, as was going to school. Somehow I realized going to school wasn’t the point. The goal was to get an education. I got my love for reading from my dad. He was always reading and studying. Most of the time his readings focused on the Bible, but he never supervised what I read.
If my father had enjoyed the benefits that my parents had assured me, I wonder what he could have done in his life. Probably, exactly what he did.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Barbara Horton is a staff writer at the Daily American Republic. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.