Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blessings in Threes/ A Father's Day Tribute

I have many, many blessings in my life.  This weekend I am thinking of three blessings that have greatly influenced my life, past, present and future.
As luck would have it, I was born into a family where the duties of parenthood were taken very seriously.  As the second daughter of educators, I was taught to value education.  My mother taught second grade and was one of the sweetest, kindest women to ever walk the earth.  She gave me patience, love, compassion and friendship.  My father taught high school biology, and later became my high school principal.  He did not show affection easily, but he took his parenting responsibilities seriously.  Not only was he a good provider, but he took care of many of our physical needs.  He made sure we were bundled up in the winter, sat with us when we were ill and taught us how to fish and garden (neither took very well with me, but he tried!).  I even remember him drying my hair in the winter in front of our old gas stove.  We NEVER wanted to disappoint my dad and he made sure we knew that his expectations for us were high.  All three of his children completed college and have enjoyed professional careers.  I have a lot to thank my dad for.  I always knew he was there, I always knew he cared.
Thirty four years ago I married the man who would father my two children. I first fell in love with his humor, his passion and his kind nature.  God must have been watching out for me when he led me to Randy, because I could never have picked anyone so perfect, for me, on my own.  I loved Randy when we got married, but I fell completely in love with him when he became a father.  He certainly knew what his priorities were when we found ourselves with two small children only two years into the marriage.  He worked hard to make a living for us and to take care of our physical needs.  He worked a swing shift and hated to be away from home more than anything in the world.  Yet he would leave for work early in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, or after we were in bed because he had a good job that kept our needs met.  But it was his passion for being a father that I admired most.  He loved to laugh and make the kids laugh.  We have shared hours and hours of belly aching laughter over the years.  He enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the kids and taught our son quite a bit about tools, sports and life in general.  He was a little more unsure about what to teach a girl, but somehow he managed because our daughter has the same quick wit and passion that her father has.  Jessica and her dad are more alike than either of them want to admit!  He continues to be an exemplary father and grandfather.  There is nothing he wouldn't do for his family.
Almost 32 years ago, Josh was born.  He was my baby, my tow headed energetic, ornery boy.  Josh has always made me proud.  He is a devoted son and a good friend.  My admiration for Josh took on a whole new dimension when he became a dad.  There is something so special about watching a child you raise become a parent.  If we ever doubted our parenting ability, seeing Josh with his children relieved those doubts.  Josh is an amazing husband and father.  He, too, works a job that keeps him away from his family.  I know that it is hard for him to pack his bags and say goodbye for 24 to 48 hours at a time.  Several years ago he took a job hundreds of miles away so he could provide a better future for his family.  He hated it, he missed them, but he did it because it was the right thing to do.  Josh is a patient and kind father.  He had a good role model, and he is being a good role model to his children. 
I am not sure why I have been so blessed with the people in my life.  I work with people every day who have very little family, negligent family or family who take advantage of them.  I know what I have is precious and rare.  I try to not take for granted that I am surrounded by people who love me and support me.  This weekend I will celebrate the men in my life.  I will say a little prayer of thanks that I have been blessed to have them!  I will feed them well and honor them and make sure they know how I feel.
Happy Father's Day!!

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