I don’t have any pictures to go with this one but just some words of love and encouragement and hopefully wisdom for those with dads close by!
My dad and I have never really shared a close relationship. Anybody that has known me for any length of time knows that my mom and I have always been really close and shared a pretty strong bond. My parents were always open about the fact that I was born before they were married and for the first 2 1/2 years of my life it was just my mom and I. Probably that was part of the reason we became so close, it started out just the two of us. My dad entered back into the picture and it wasn’t like I actually remember him ever not being there but those are formative years. At times throughout my teenage years I could see the envy my dad had for that relationship but couldn’t quite see his way through developing ours any deeper. To be honest I probably wouldn’t have responded much to it anyway since I loved the confidante I found in my mom. Having said that over the last five years my mom and I have seen our ups and downs because of a variety of life circumstances, choices made on both our parts to take that relationship for granted and just generally a normal progression of changes in relationship. But in that I have found an ability to appreciate who my dad is and what he has done in my life and why I need to find as many opportunities to show him how much he means to me!
After the last 2 years of my dad being out of town for weeks at a time and short visits upon his return I have realized I would greatly miss his calming and stabilizing presence in our family. My dad is quiet, there’s no question but in that quietness he has taught us many things. From the outside (because I know my mom doesn’t see her marriage as perfect) I have watched a man love his wife unconditionally and support a great many hopes and desires. I have seen a man who chooses acceptance of his children for who they are despite having felt rejection from his own father because of who he is. I see a man who wants desperately to give his family all he can possibly give even when the sacrifice may be more than he should be willing to sacrifice. I see that faith isn’t always visible in regular church attendance or deep spiritual discussions but in everyday living and quietness that many people fail to appreciate. I know that whatever should happen in my life I can depend on my dad to love me and do whatever he can to be a part of the life I’ve chosen no matter what turns it may take.
Over the last couple months, as I’ve evaluated my relationship with my children and made the effort to “date” my sons, I’ve chosen to make that same effort with my dad. The first time was kind of awkward, just as much as it was with Sam or Jake. It felt forced to really talk and I didn’t want to get too deep not really knowing what he was comfortable with but this last time was awesome as we spent two hours over tea and coffee and dessert just talking about life. A moment here or there getting deeper than the rest but overall just enjoying being together and connecting in a way that will hopefully bring us closer in the years to come and be a support for what we will both face as life continues to change and throw curve balls that we may or may not be prepared for!
Next time I imagine will be even better and as I continue to pursue this bond I truly hope and pray that God will honor both our desires to love and uplift each other in our regular interactions.