No matter how much time has passed since his death, I know I will always miss my daddy. There are many times I just wish I could pick up the phone and hear his voice which was always calming; or ask his advice about something.
So many things have changed or occurred since he died fourteen years ago. There are great-grandchildren and spouses of grandchildren he never got to meet and he would be proud that I finally got a book published, even as co-author. He did not get to meet my husband but I know that he would approve of David, because they are a lot alike in some areas.
Though he was not physically present, I like to think he was looking down from heaven when I became an ordained minister, one of only a couple in our family and the only female one that we know about so far. I could just hear him saying, “You know that comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability!”
Growing up, daddy was my biggest cheerleader. Though he was basically a quiet man, we had many long meaningful talks when he was in a particularly talkative mood.
We goaded each other about our politics, since we were usually on opposite sides and we discussed the latest ballgame and what the team did wrong or right.
It was daddy who gave the dreaded talk about the birds and the bees and the importance of education, especially for women “this day and time”. It was his desire that his daughter not have to depend on a man to support her and I inherited his workaholic attitude, striving to do the best I could in a field which at first, was mostly male oriented. That sure has changed a lot as today, I think it is mostly female oriented.
I cannot even remember how many years it was before I ever even allowed myself to take a vacation. I remember going on vacation with the family as a small child but not as a teenager so much. It has only been in the last ten years or which I have realized the benefits of taking time off from an environment which can be stressful at times and is not your 9-5 job as weekend and night work is required quite often.
Taking that time off helps you to refresh and refocus and really is important. I can tell the difference when I have not taken time off in a while as I tend to get a little out of sorts and things get on my nerves more. That is one thing Daddy forgot to tell me before he left and I am not sure he even figured it out himself.
Having a garden this year has been a challenge, as it has been a while since having one and I could always ask daddy any question about gardening and get the answer I needed to improve the garden. My tomatoes have not done well this year and I am sure daddy would have an answer. My squash and bell peppers, along with herbs could win a competition for beautiful plants and what they have yielded. This year was a trial run in the garden department and I am looking forward to expanding next year.
We also will have a wedding next year for our youngest daughter and it saddens me that daddy is not here for it but again, I am sure he will be looking down from heaven and smiling.
Life really is short and we take too many things for granted. It’s the little things in life which add up and we remember the most.
Not everyone has had a great father in their life. I understand that but there comes a time when you must forgive and forget and move on with or without them. Remember that the Bible tells us to honor our mother and our father and it doesn’t say whether they deserve it or not. That means being respectful regardless and sometimes that means not saying anything to avoid a conflict or it can mean not having them in your life to keep down the drama, etc.
I had a wonderful dad and am thankful for the time that I did have him and for the things he taught me. My life was richer because of the man my father was and I carry the valuable lessons he taught me in my heart and put them to use when possible.
In our country more than half of the children spend at least part of their childhoods apart from their fathers. In other countries, like Uganda, there are thousands upon thousands of orphans who neither have mother or father.
In a world of chaos when having a father is even more important, many never have this opportunity. Boys need masculine role models who lead with compassion and strength. Girls need fathers to show them how they should be treated by how their mothers are treated and to teach them different things than those things only mothers can teach. Being a father, is a responsibility that some do not take up and accept. Those who do, can be role models for others and encourage those young men who don’t have that influence in their lives.
Wishing all dads a happy Father’s Day. Blessings to each of you
VICTORIA SIMMONS is a columnist, motivational speaker/ minister and publisher/gm of The Post/Byron Buzz. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org