We all need our fathers

June 7, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

My father has been gone for over seven years now. I often think that I wish our youngest daughter could have met him.

He died when our middle child was of about preschool age, so she has faint memories of him, as well as our oldest child. But our youngest never had the opportunity to meet him. Grandpa lived with us, as did my mother, for the last years of their lives, and he loved to play with my children.

My dad was a patient, kind, and loving man who would help out anyone. He loved to laugh and enjoy life; our youngest would have loved to have shared that laughter with him.

Over this past Memorial Day, my twin brother, his wife and their family, and my husband, myself, and our children enjoyed a get-together on the family farm.

The simple, yet pleasurable fun included tractor and wagon rides, boat rides, a frog hunt, hide-and-seek, a hot dog and marshmallow roast, a campfire with campfire games, and lots of laughter and camaraderie shared. When the evening was winding down, my brother shared a sentiment with me, “Dad would have loved this, he would be happy about this.”

And that is the absolute truth. I think, as a parent, our greatest joys are derived from watching our children enjoy life, happiness, and laughter. We want our children to be happy.

A father, considered by most as the head of the household and the protector of his family, finds great happiness in knowing that his family is safe and happy.

Fathers Day was started as a complement to Mothers Day, to celebrate fatherhood. President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of making it a national holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially proclaimed Fathers Day a national holiday.

It took a while for Fathers Day to be accepted as a holiday. But, we know that fathers are extremely important figures in the lives of children. My father was my guide and provided a foundation of strength yet warmth, wisdom, faith, patience, comfort, and security.

My father had large hands, which my brother attributed to all of the large rocks my mother made him carry and move for all of her rock gardens. Really, those large hands symbolized the security and safety he provided. With those hands, he carried our worries and our joys.

Fathers work and toil, from day to day, for their families. My father did, and my husband does for our family. I believe that a father goes off to work each day with the major goals of serving others and providing for others, for a good greater than themselves.

We need our fathers; our sons and daughters need their fathers; mothers need fathers. A ‘father’ may be a dad, or a grandpa, or a male mentor.

I am forever grateful for my father and the time I had with him. I am also grateful for my husband, the father of our children. I appreciate all that he is to our children, our family, and myself.

Happy Fathers Day to all of the male mentors who provide stability, caring, and support. We need you.