I know for a lot of people, Father’s Day can bring up a lot of bad memories of neglect, abuse, and worse. But I feel exceptionally blessed to wake up this morning feeling grateful because of the man my father is.
He’s been in full-time ministry for more than three decades, and has helped more people than anyone will ever know. Not only has he spoken and led from the front, but he has also shown up at hospitals, schools, mental institutions and funeral parlors to help families through their darkest, hardest moments.
He has also shown up for me — accepting, forgiving, encouraging and supporting me, even when I’m a less-than-stellar version of myself. After my mastectomy, when I was in terrible pain, he sat at the edge of my bed and rubbed my feet for hours, because it was the only touch that felt comforting to me at the time.
He has been a faithful husband and father and grandfather. He wakes up before dawn every morning to pray for each of us.
My dad also shows generosity and kindness in quiet ways that, to most people, go unnoticed — like the way he straightens up hotel rooms so the cleaning staff won’t have to work so hard.
This year, I’m blessed to be home for Father’s Day. Last night my sister and mom and I took my dad out to a nice restaurant. We bought him the oak tree he’s been wanting to plant in the back yard. We’re making him his favorite meal for dinner tonight.
Words and gestures and gifts fail to paint the full picture of who my dad is, but, after a lifetime of my dad showing up for other people, I’m grateful that I have the chance to show up for him.