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Section A: General News


Editorial: Remembering our fathers; valuable lessons learned




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Wilson County News
June 12, 2013 | 1,219 views | 1 comment

If you are lucky, you remember your father, and even luckier if your father is still around.

Most fathers are the silent, long-suffering, unrecognized heroes. Oh, not all fathers are good fathers -- there is only one Father who was perfect, and He is in heaven. We don’t expect our dads to be perfect; they are just our dads and we are lucky to have them.

Too many kids are growing up without the benefits of fatherly influence. While many, such as Bill Cosby, recognize the problems caused by fatherless homes, there is another segment of society that would make “father” the new “f” word, as Kathleen Parker writes. The French are, in fact, eliminating the terms “father” and “mother” from their lexicon, substituting instead, “parent.”

I beg to differ. Fathers are important to society. From little on, we see our dads as big, strong, and, yes, sometimes frightening. They provide that necessary balance to mothers: when dad says something, that means it’s final. When dads play with their little ones, they tend to roughhouse, throwing them into the air -- much to their delight.

As we become teens, we don’t always have time for our dads. Oh, we call them when we are in trouble and need their help, or when we are out of money. We suddenly remember “good ol’ Dad!”

Dads walk their daughters down the aisle, see their sons off to careers in the military, and don’t let on how vulnerable that makes them feel. This is how I remember my dad. He is still around, but these days he cannot communicate. We can talk to him but have no way of knowing if our communications reach him. It’s hard to see this once-strong man now totally dependent on constant care for his very survival.

But I remember.

He was a man of few words, a no-nonsense person who worked his hardest to provide, as best he could, for his family of nine children. He let our mother make all the important decisions, but we knew they were always in it together.

My father probably was happiest when he was riding on his tractor on his little farm. Things were not easy for him, but he never complained. His farm was mostly caliche and not conducive to good crops, but it was enough to sustain a few cattle and allowed us never to go hungry.

The seven-year drought in the 1950s brought all farmers almost to desperation, as it was impossible to make crops. To this day, I know to look to the sky for any hint of rain, because rain is always a good sign. It brings hope.

Daddy took a job in town at minimum wage because that is all that was available then. He’d often come home in his beat-up farm truck so tired that he’d park it and fall asleep, too tired to make it into the house.

Saying that he was “glad” just to be able to feed his family may not be accurate, but he never wavered. His determination taught all of us the value of hard work and perseverance. He never missed going to Mass with us on Sundays. That’s when we learned that there was something beyond a dry caliche farm.

He taught us to pray because we saw him pray. From him we learned to aspire to be good people and never to expect more than we deserved.

As we recognize our fathers on this day, we appreciate their valuable contribution to society. We hope that everyone may experience the strength and solid contribution of a father. If not your earthly father, then I pray that you may get to know your Heavenly Father. In this secular world, a real father is like a breath of fresh air.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Ken Semlinger  
Poth, TX  
June 17, 2013 11:43am
 
Excellent!

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