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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Joy

For some reason unknown to me, I have been thinking about Father's Day 2010 for quite a while. Usually, Father's Day sort of slips up on me, even to the point that it may come and go without me noticing, This year, however, I have been aware and reflecting on what it means to be a son, a father, and a grandfather for several months.

My father was distant from me most of his too short life. (I am now a year older than he was when he died). Years ago, after his death, I did a lot of sad reflecting on that. That included reading the "diary" he kept during the years he was a front line soldier during World War II. Dad never spoke of World War II to me, except when he was very, very drunk. Reading his diary gave me insights into Daddy that I wish I had had when he was living. If I had known when I was an adult what I learned about him from that diary, I would have reached out to him (and his pain) as I did not do during his life.

I believe that there is a direct relationship between being a son (child) and being a father (parent). Most people realize that we learn to be a parent primarily from the manner in which we were parented. I think that the majority of us humans decide at some point in our lives that we will be a better parent to our children than our parents were to us. We try. And, for the most part, we fail. We may discover ways of "correcting" the most glaring "mistakes" that we believe that our parents made in raising us, but we also make new mistakes that are exclusively ours.

Perhaps we make those mistakes because, in the process of trying so hard not to parent as we were parented, we swing too far in the opposite direction of the "mistakes" we believe that our parents made. (There is an explanation of that sort of behavior in the Transactional Analysis concept of scripting) Whatever the reason, my reflections inform me that I haven't been a better father than my father. I have simply been a different father. I made my own mistakes.

The joy and good news are, as a sign I used to have on my desk said: Please be patient; God isn't finished with me yet. We are always changing and hopefully growing. Therefore, most of us are a better parent to our grandchildren than we were our children.

In the meantime, as God continues to finish me, I can experience the greatest joy in human existence: being a father (parent) and a grandfather (grandparent):



And finally, lest we forget:


P.S.~ Alex also has a Father's Day post on his blog.

13 comments:

  1. Excellent, Reverend Sasint. Have a blessed and joyful Tahters' Day.

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  2. I meant "Fathers' Day." But you knew that, didn't you, Reverend Saint.

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  3. A beautiful post, Nick. Happy Father's Day to you.

    It must have been a meaningful experience to be able to read about your dad and to learn things that could help you better understand the man that he was.

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  4. That is a beautiful family photograph, Nick. I wish you a very happy fathers day and hope your thoughts of reaching out to your own father will realise how real they now will be.

    With love,
    CJ xx

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  5. What a beautiful family!

    So much depth and insight here...but of course, I would expect no less. Happy Father's Day, Nick!

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  6. Thank you, Carol. The more I read of Daddy's WWII diary the greater the insight I gained into why he sledom spoke of WWII or how important the AmVets organization was for him. I don't think that a combat veteran can really commuicate with those who "haven't been there."

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  7. Thank you, Mike. I appreciate your words and your blog

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  8. Thank you, C. J.. The day has been, uh, lonely, even a bit melancoly. However, Alex has been extra snuddly, which gives me joy and smiles.

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  9. Thank you,Mimi! Can you see me blushing at your compliments?

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