To my way of thinking being a parent is far more enjoyable than anything else. It is not always a bed of roses, but the good times outweigh the bad times a hundredfold. As your children grow, there’s a sense of great pride when they do well at school or university. There is also pride when they succeed in areas such as sport or when they meet someone, settle down and have their own families.
At the end of the day every parent wants what’s best for their kids; for them to succeed in life; to be healthy and to be happy.
My own father was a quiet man who must have endured much during World War 2 but like many men of his era, he rarely spoke about what happened to him. I wouldn’t say he was badly scarred by what he experienced but it must have been frightening. He flew with the Red Cross over the North Sea rescuing allied pilots who had been shot down by the Germans.
He shared few details about the war, but he confirmed there were occasions when the enemy fired at his plane even though the Red Cross insignia was clearly visible. This was against the rules of engagement. He admitted there were days when he and his crew thought they’d never make it back to the English airbase where they were stationed. Fortunately, he survived the war, married my mother, and I was the fourth of six children.
Dad was a wonderful role model. Outwardly, he wasn’t the most demonstrative person, but we knew we were loved. He rarely raised his voice and was always patient and kind. He set a good example.
Fathers, like mothers, have a significant role to play in the lives of their children. It might be the occasional hug, an appreciative pat on the back or words of encouragement when your child is feeling low. The little things are as important as the big things.
Father’s Day may have come and gone by the time you have read this article but that doesn’t lessen its significance. Like Mother’s Day, it an annual tribute of the value of fathers in our lives.
My father passed away 26 years ago but rarely does a day go by when he doesn’t appear in a memory that makes me smile. An ice cream van passes by and I recall the occasions he bought ice creams for the family on our beach holidays while the smell of sausages and onions evokes memories of summer barbecues in the backyard.
Many wonderful things remind me of my father. I know my children have similar experiences about their upbringing.
Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. While it is only one day of the year, we should honour our fathers every day of the year and thank them for what they do, and for what they have done.
Bless them all!
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