Everyone on earth should have a fan club president like my dads provided me!* I know that is impossible and unrealistic but like the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, “I’m keeping hope alive” because these two phenomenal men made all the difference.
This Father’s Day, as we celebrate the precious men who made us possible, here are three qualities I believe make daddies heroes and living, breathing symbols of God’s finest work:
They know that time spent is much more important than stuff. I remember as a child I wanted some Converse All Stars that could make you jump longer and higher though I had no Olympic aspirations or plans for long distance running. I just wanted them because everybody had a pair. I never got a pair of these elite tennis shoes but I remember getting guidance, encouragement, high expectations, discipline and adoration. Priceless!
They honor themselves and God daily and show honor and integrity always matter. My fathers took their Christian witness and relationship with God seriously. They were leaders in the church and community and were well respected because of their relationship with God. My great-uncle/dad went to buy hogs from a recently widowed woman who didn’t know their worth. He paid what she said and all the way to the market he planned what he would do with the extra money but couldn’t rest until he took the extra money back to her. They were humble men and insisted on and modeled love and service.
They honor and respect women. My mothers were strong, beautiful partners but they had their own voice and they worked to get and stay on the same page with their husbands. They were successful because of teamwork. I remember my great-aunt saying “wearing britches don’t make you a man.” It’s true. Think long and hard about laying down with somebody who isn’t compatible or worthy of you. Baby making is a fun activity but being a dad is a lifetime commitment—make sure everyone in this equation is ready.
If you’re a single mother doing double duty, a grandparent who is back into service as primary caregiver, or a stepdad/uncle/mentor/someone who is pinch hitting for a deceased/absentee dad, prayers and kudos to you for blessing a child’s life. THANK YOU. And today instead of condemning, I will pray for the hearts and minds of those fathers who do just enough to get by, who don’t support their children financially or emotionally, who lie, or walk away at the first mention of fatherhood. They missed their chance to be a hero today, but maybe tomorrow…
For those of you who have recently lost your dad, be blessed and encouraged. It won’t be tomorrow but there will come a time (1) when you think of him as you sit down to read the paper, (2) smile at his favorite song, (3) or giggle uncontrollably when you drive by Luby’s Cafeteria and remember how much he enjoyed going to Ludy’s (my dad’s butchered name for his favorite restaurant).… Be blessed and keep shining!
*You know the story – I had a beloved father and a spare: my father, John A. Bond Jr. (December 1927- September 2004) and my great-uncle, Carey Bowles, (December 1917-June 1997) jointly made me this amazing woman you know today. I am still basking in their lessons of love and kindness — this Father’s Day when I think of them, I smile…