Friday, July 6, 2012

Confessions of Guggie's Dad: I Wish

Fathers might feel more like an accessory or leftovers, or as one dad quipped, "I'm just the sperm donor." But, you're not. You're an essential, appreciated, vital part of the attached and peaceful family unit. Your journey might not be as well lit as a mother's. You might not be allowed (by our culture) to shed tears or ask for help. You might feel forgotten. But, you're not. Your children need you and love you unconditionally.

Your partner needs you by her side. Don't underestimate yourself. You can be that light in your child's eyes. Regardless of how you were raised, what was done to you or how society views you:

 "Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance." ~Ruth E. Renkel

My dad mailed this to me today. I know I don't include fathers as much as they deserve. I tend to get a little too focused on parenting from a woman's perspective only. But daddies have a very real and important place in the attached family unit. (Please keep in mind that this is shared from a Christian perspective and not intended to proselytize.)

© 2012 Guggie's Dad

"I have failed many times as a father, as a husband, as a person. I am a man. And I have made many mistakes. In the past, I used to think my mistakes meant I couldn't be a good dad. I'm glad to say that I realize I was WRONG. As I get older, I recognize how strongly a father can affect his family and how his stumblings can interfere with the wellbeing of the children.

In the Old Testament, we were told that children will suffer the sins of their father and his father before him for seven generations. Which means my grandfather made mistakes that my dad would suffer from, and then I would suffer from them and you would suffer from them and your children would suffer from them, so on and so forth.

Within this context, for the longest time I believed it was useless to try to be a better father. It was pointed out to me numerous times that I cannot change what my dad did to me, or what his dad did to him. Not only did I feel useless, but I felt like a boat anchor, dragging my family down.

And yet, despite this, I was given grace and love. I have found new hope and courage has filled my heart. Because the story doesn't stop at the Old Testament. We are given the hope and the love of Jesus in the New Testament. He comes to fulfill that covenant and break that generational chain. It takes small steps and it takes time, but we can choose to change and to receive this second chance.

I Wish

Looking back at the time that's passed
I relish all the time we've spent.
And yet I mourn my cup not filled
And dwell upon the soil untilled.

I could show my daughter what a man really is
To show kindness and consideration, without cost.
Who is the virtuous man? The tempered, prude, patient, and just man.
And an honest man.

I could embrace my daughter
To steady her for the world she chooses to join, without fear.
A wise man walks with his head bowed low. I have walked with my head in the clouds.
The air is thin in so high a place.

I could share my life with my daughter
To examine all the great things we have been, without guilt.
God's mercy is greater than our ability to imagine. I have not earned a path to heaven.
Prayer empowers us to do God's will.

I could cry with my daughter
To show compassion is not a weakness, without loss.
A man must yield to be strong; follow to lead. I have blazed my own path, what do I know?
Tears well up in my eyes.

I could endure with my daughter
To feel the strength of our souls across the universe, without spite. 
Panic is a burden. Knowing we can persevere unburdens our lives.
Come Holy Spirit, fill us with fortitude.

I could laugh with my daughter
To display a soul's endearing mirth and joy, without limits.
The honorable man maintains integrity. It is apparent in his beliefs and actions.
Before death I will leap with joy.

I could pray with my daughter
To request fulfillment of our needs, give praise to God, serve others, without shame.
A man giving glory to God, loving Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit. His actions show this.
There are final objectives in life.

Indeed, I wish these things to pass
And look expectantly for times we'll share.
And not so quick that I can't see
The love that God has shared with me."

My dad, holding his brand new first born (me).

My dad, many years later, with his last born.

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1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. I have tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for sharing...