In my mind today I'm thinking about Fathers. There are so many varieties of fathers. The range is from great, good, mediocre, so-so, and loser. Sometimes fathers have a glitch: alcoholism, irresponsible, work-a-holic, inattentive, emotionally inept, self-absorbed, or absenteeism. Being a father is a big responsibility. Take a moment and think about your father. I'm sure he wasn't perfect. Nobody is. You may be one of those children blessed with the ultimate father. I hope you are and cherish him. It is truly a gift from above. If you were like me, you got one of those dads with a glitch.
As I think about my own father, I look at his life. He grew up during the Great Depression. He had a very severe childhood. He only completed third grade before he had to help provide for his family. He was drafted into WWII at the young age of 18 years old. He earned a GED while in the Army. He came home an alcoholic and had two failed marriages. He married my mother at 30 years old and had 5 children. He battled alcoholism into his fifties. He had scrapes with the law and spent a lot of time incarcerated and even in prison. He was a tortured soul. He certainly lived a colorful life. The most miraculous thing of all is that my mother and my siblings loved him despite his imperfections. My mother never gave up and truly loved him heart and soul even though he broke her heart many times over. It gets better I promise; keep reading.
I told you he found sobriety in his fifties and this is where I want to show you what redemption is. My father missed out on so much of his children's childhoods. I was the youngest and he managed to pull it together for my teenage years. He became a beloved softball coach. He never missed a sporting event of mine. He was such a fun, charismatic grandfather. He spent his retirement visiting grandchildren bringing goodies: watermelons, biscuits and gravy, candy, and Chocolate Soldiers. He made each grandchild feel special giving them enduring nicknames. If any of us needed anything, he was there. If he came to visit and missed us, he left sweet notes. (Thank goodness I stashed and kept many of them) All of the times he let us down in our childhoods, he redeemed himself in our children. Redemption. It is a beautiful thing.
As you think about your father and hopefully get to celebrate it with him on Father's Day, remember whatever kind of father you had I'm sure he loved you the best way he could. Let him know that you love and forgive him despite what holes were left in your heart. Hope, forgiveness, and redemption go hand and hand with love which we all know is eternal. My father left this earth on my birthday 13 years ago. My lesson today is to not waste precious time and take time to enjoy your father whether he's the greatest or the worst.
Happy Father's Day
Dedicated to my Dad: George "John" Wesley Anderson aka Slick Foot aka Uncle George
You are always in my heart, mind, and my flowers.