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The Father You Can Be

Thu, Jun. 15, 2017 Posted: 12:31 PM

The card arrived in the mail the day before Father’s Day.

Hallmark’s eloquent words would have been enough sentiment, but Dad’s handwritten words of encouragement to his son-in-law on his first Father’s Day, made me swallow back my tears.

Without fail, those cards came each year until my Dad passed on.

Being a good father was something my dad learned the hard way. Today, divorce and single-parenting are common, but in 1937, not so much.

As a young boy, Dad moved from everything he knew in sunny Chico, California—with its paved, tree-lined streets to a dusty farm in Eastern Washington.

He wouldn’t see his father again for 15 years. When his mom remarried, his step-father became the only dad he’d have—an honest, hard-working man.

He was dependable too—something so needed when your childhood has been broken.

We all have broken places in our lives—Dad didn’t talk much about his losses, but he sure tried to make up for them. I especially noticed this when we had our own kids.

My dad’s annual Father’s Day cards brought precious words of lived-out wisdom. Dad, in his own way, was trying to inspire us to love unconditionally, forgive generously, and live with less brokenness.

It was a worthy goal. And still is. You can’t choose who your father will be, but you can choose the father you should be. Happy Father’s Day

Karen Farris