I work at not allowing Father’s Day to be sad for me since my dad is no longer alive, other than in my heart and mind.
As I think about how I might honor my dad this Father’s Day, I think of him not only as father, but as a man who had dreams. I know when he became a husband and a father, his family ranked at the top of the list. This especially carried over to his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and yes, the great-great-grandchildren who were born while he was living. One thing I never questioned was his love for me and his family. Early on in life, I learned while he loved me, he delighted in his grandchildren.
I’m not usually a risk-taker, but my dad always was willing to take risks. He ventured out into new jobs and careers where he didn’t appear to have any background and was successful. Age never entered into the decision on whether or not he’d start a new job.
I grew up in a home constructed by my dad out of lumber from trees grown on our family’s farm. He harvested them and had them milled into planks. He plumbed the house with borrowed tools. I don’t think he understood not being able to do what he wanted. He would find a way.
Growing up on the farm, I had no idea financially we might be “poor” because I never missed having what I needed. The most important thing I had was his love. He not only taught me right from wrong, he also taught me once I left his house, I would be responsible for making my own decisions. He stressed I allow God to play a role in those decisions since I would be answering to Him.
He taught me to not judge others by the way they were dressed. There is more to a person than clothes, houses and what they are driving.
He also made certain I knew there was more to life than growing up on a small farm. I don’t know what his and my mother’s agreement was, but he enjoyed inviting folks to eat with us on the spur of the moment. She always pulled off a meal. Oftentimes, the guests would be the evangelist speaking at the church revival or the missionaries home on furlough from the far corners of the world.
He also instilled in me to strive for the best. If the best I could afford was the nosebleed seats at an event, great, but if I could afford front row, go for it.
In ways, he was strict. Attending church was a must, as was going to school. Somewhere I realized going to school was not the goal. The goal was receiving an education. I got my love for reading from my dad. He always was reading and studying. Most of the time, his reading material centered around the Bible, but he never monitored what I read.
If my dad had been given the advantages my parents made certain I had, I wonder what he might have done in his life. Probably, just what he did.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Barbara Horton is a staff writer at the Daily American Republic. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.