Today is my father’s birthday. He is 96.
I love my father. I always have loved him. Sometimes a boy will go through stages where he does not trust his father, or turns against him so that a bitterness and anger rises in the boy’s heart. That was never true for me. There were times when I struggled against my father’s authority and the “house rules,” but I never doubted that it was his way of caring for me (even if I thought he was crazy for “caring” so).
Not long ago I was watching television, and a boy referred to his father as “my old man.” I suddenly remembered the one time I used that phrase.
I was a young teenager, and all my friends were calling their mothers “my old lady” and their fathers “my old man.” It was cool. It showed an emotional detachment, a toughness that I wanted to take on.
I said something disparaging about my parents and blamed it on “my old man.” As soon as the words came from my mouth I felt like a traitor. I didn’t mean it. It wasn’t true, but I had sold out my Dad in order to look cool and tough.
I remember feeling deep remorse, the kind I had not felt before. I never said those words again.
Happy Birthday, Dad. (I know you’re chuckling at this story!) You are the most important man in my life.
I love you.
It’s a gift to have a father whose love you never doubted -even it you disagreed with how it was shown in your teenage years (who didn’t?). I know you passed that experience on to your daughters, and so it lives beyond you and through you. Blessings!
Amen! And this is the man who ends every prayer with “We love you Father, we love you Lord Jesus.” Happy Birthday, Dad!
Gloria Hayes says
I loved my father in the same way. Unfortunately he died at age 66. My children never knew him. It makes me sad. Fortunate are we who had good fathers.
What a blessing to have a godly father and a son who honors him.
Robin Hunt says
When I initially saw your entry title under my Deus category of the Feedly app, I thought, “How affectionate.” My father often referred to my grandfather as “dear ol’ dad.”
Then, I read on. I remember that era.
The mutability of the English language, like our own maturation, can be wonderful.
Ellie Massie says
I loved this. My father was a man of few words with a very subtle sense of humor. We three daughters overwhelmed him, and we always knew how loved we were despite his quiet manner. He was a much loved surgeon in our community and I was proud as could be to say he was my dad.