Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Loveliness of Fathers


It was just an old worn out jeep
Rusty old floor boards, hot on my feet
A young girl two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel
And he'd say "Turn it left, and steer it right
Straighten up girl now, you're doing just fine"
Just a little valley by the river where we'd ride
But I was high on a mountain
When Daddy let me drive

~Drive by Alan Jackson**

I want to write something meaningful and eloquent about the memories I have of my father; the things I love about him, the special moments I treasure. I ache with envy when I read someone else's moving tribute to their dad because I wish I could do the same so easily. It requires a lot of forgetfulness on my part. Forgetting the disappointments, forgetting the hurts, forgetting the selfishness and choosing to look for the good. It is not a matter of forgiving. I can't judge his culpability. Even though we have our "issues", I know that without him, I wouldn't be me.

So for the sake of this lovely fair, I am putting the "issues" aside and looking for those qualities I can admire in my dad.

Generosity ~ He is always willing to help whether asked or not.

Friendship ~ Once he has made you his friend, he will never forget you.

Pride ~ He is proud of my accomplishments even though they are not the accomplishments he would have chosen for me.

Trust ~ I believe that he trusts me and the decisions I make for myself because he knows that my decisions are guided by my head, my heart and my faith. While he may not understand them, he respects them.

Work Ethic ~ My father has always worked and even now, in retirement, he still works. While he might have served his family by better balancing the needs of the job and the needs of his family, I have to admire his ability to work hard and hope that I have learned the value of it properly placed.

They say that a girl will often marry a guy just like dear old Dad and in my case, that couldn't be further from the truth...except for the good qualities.

So to the wonderful father of my children here is the best tribute I can offer... a portrait of you in their own words:

Well, I like that he knows so much about cars and he's really funny. I like to go bowling with him and go to baseball games. He makes me feel proud to be his son.~ The Professor

I love that he goes to work to help us get food. Sometimes he makes me laugh when I get hurt. He goes to the library with us and picks out really good books for us. Sometimes we even do fun stuff after the library like get milkshakes. (Mom says: Oh really!!?!) He stays home on Saturdays and Sundays and has fun with us. ~ Sunshine

I love how he tells his jokes. I love how he makes us pancakes on Saturdays. And I love the way how he looks when you and him are asleep in your bed. (This could explain why we get the most late night calls from this one!)~ Shortcake

BigBoy, what do you love most about Daddy? His stopper...like the police. He's music. Huh?

*Thank you to Paula for hosting this Loveliness Fair. Check back with her on Monday for the fair and don't forget to offer her your best wishes for her upcoming marriage!

** I included the lyrics above because they describe, much better than I, one of those special moments I wish I could wax eloquently about.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Matilda , I came here the other day to post after you visited my blog . I had a whole message written and then lost it :-(
    Not everyone has a loving bio parent . You are very humble .
    No one has the perfect parent except in God our father :-)
    It is a hard reality but here on earth I've had many wonderful examples of a father via our priest Fr. Robert .He is my confessor .He is ever so gentle & kind never harsh . He knows my past .
    My penence is always to pray for Him :-) what a beautiful carrying man . I'm happy to call Him Father he is like a true loving Father .God made many beautiful fathers but ultimately some of us truely only have God as Father .
    It is ok to acknowledge the wrongs , the pain the hurt . If we don't we can never forgive or heal however it takes alot of understanding & humility to see and get the good out of that .
    I too have nothing but empathy now and compassion for my father . I still cannot be with him as it would put my family at risk but I love him as a human being that is for sure as my brother I have to so I do .It is not so hard when we do it Jesus's way ;-) is it .
    Thanks for being real Matilda
    Keep on Shining :-)
    Much Love to You , Rox

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  2. Matilda, I have to tell you that I almost wrote a very similar post...but I just couldn't get it to sound "lovely" enough, so I gave up. My dad was a good guy and he worked hard, but I couldn't come up with anything near a moving tribute to him.
    You did a fine job.
    I love the comments from your kids!

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  3. Matilda, it's lovely. Just lovely.

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  4. I agree with Karen, it IS lovely indeed! How beautiful that despite your father's shortcomings you willfully acknowledge and appreciate his virtues. Making the best of what God has given you - so inspiring!!

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  5. Thank you so much ladies for your kind words. This was a good exercise for me. I want to find a way to make sure he knows how I feel (I choose not to share my blog with my family right now) and I hope that when others look at me, they try to focus on my good qualities (instead of the annoying ones).

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  6. You are very wise to look for and admire your Dad's goodness! I pray that you will receive much healing with the rest.

    The kid's comments about their Dad are precious!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!