My Dad died in in 1990 when I was 28 years old. But he stopped being my Dad long before that date. Just like too many children in America my parents divorced when I was just a child (3 yrs old). We lived in the same town until I was 7 and I vaguely remember going to his house for weekend visits and events like birthday parties and Christmas. We moved 1400 miles away when I started second grade and the memories of my Father were spaced further apart and are not any more clear. There are two bazaar memories I have of my Dad and they are: I remember his hands…he always had rough hands(from fishing on the weekends), and I remember him always singing “When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there” as we drove in the car. When he died it was a very mixed up feeling. He was my Father but he wasn’t my Dad because we didn’t know each other, we didn’t have that relationship.
I have unpacked and repacked that suitcase many times over the last 40 years and the hardest part has been trying to identify my emotions for him. I am not mad at him, I don’t blame him, I am not really all that sad…I simply didn’t know him.
What I have concentrated on…is being a Daddy to my two beautiful daughters. God blessed Marilyn and I with two children (now young women) to protect, nurture and most of all to love . To love like our heavenly Father…Daddy…Abba loves us. I am still learning how to do that. At times it’s hard, at times it the greatest relational feeling I have ever experienced.
This Fathers Day I will be filled with pride and joy because God has allowed me to experience the relationship of Daddy while here in this world. I love you Betsy and Miranda!
And when the roll is called up yonder…I pray he is there.