I too, as probably many others, have been thinking about what it means, being a good father, and thinking about our own fathers. For me, it's all about being a good example. However we can't give what we don't have. Many of us grow up without fathers, they are either emotionally or physical absent to us.
As an young adult, I had to decide at some point, what kind of person I wanted to be, regardless of what happened to me. Seventeen years ago I got sober and went into recovery as an alcoholic and an adult child of an alcoholic. I decided and accepted what I could and couldn't change. I hoped and prayed for discernment to know the difference. Forgiveness was essential toward my father and toward myself for what was not given or could not be given. I am not talking about forgiving what seems to be unforgivable toward those who have hurt us, for them, but for ourselves so we can move forward in life. This is what I had to do, forgive my father and forgive myself.
It was once explained to me, by a dear friend that resentment grows like bitter root, growing, strangling and poisoning so many parts of our lives. It's not something most of us can afford, carrying around that gunny sack full of resentments that we just keep adding to, until it is over flowing. I certainly couldn't.
Many folks have fathers that did the best they could do, with what they had at the time. There wasn't the kind of help available to those suffering from disease or illness, or unstable behavior, like there is today. If a person knows better, they do better.
I am grateful that some of the gut wrenching work I did for myself to reconcile and reunite with my father after being apart for 26 years of my life, which helped to heal from the effects of being a fatherless daughter with a broken heart and relationship and to learn that he loved me as much as he could. I also learned I was very much like my father in so many good ways and for this I am very grateful. I have his stubborn, resilient, sensitive, youthful heart, his humour and spirit for adventure. He told me once I had his hands, and my mother's ugly feet. I know, I am my father's daughter.
Allowing children to be who they are, with you close by their side, to love them unconditionally, to keep them safe and to understand them, are the very best gifts you can give children. Too many in our world are more concerned about power and control over children.
As a Youth Care Worker working with trouble kids, youth at risk, and young offenders, I saw a system more interested in control and power over youth. Many of the youth I worked with had absentee fathers or far worse.
Here’s to unconditional love, safety and understanding, happy children, happy fathers, happy mothers, happy families and to those parents who fight the good fight, to do the most difficult and most rewarding job in the world!
Happy Father's Day, I love and miss you Dad always.