What is a Father?
By Dan Shine
Father’s Day originated as local celebration in 1910 in Spokane, Washington. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the establishment of a national Father’s Day. However, the gears of government often turn slowly, and it wasn’t until 1972 that the permanent national observance of Father’s Day was a reality. This week, your historian defers to the late Chaplain Bob DuVall of the US Army’s 75th Infantry Division Veterans Association; Chaplain DuVall had some very touching thoughts concerning fatherhood:
A father never feels worthy of the worship in a child’s eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks; never quite the man his son believes him to be, and this worries him–sometimes. So he works too hard to try to smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.
A father gets angry when school grades are not as good as he thinks they ought to be. So he scolds his son–though he knows it is the teacher’s fault. A father gives his daughter away to another man who is not nearly good enough–so he can have grandchildren who are smarter than anybody’s. A father makes bets with insurance companies about who will live the longest. One day he loses–and the bet is paid off to those he leaves behind.
A father gives strength by sharing his strength, happiness by sharing his love.
A father is someone who knows that giving makes living a pleasure and that thoughtfulness is the best measure of a man.
A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but always a guiding light whose love shows us the way.
Whenever, wherever, however he is needed, a father is always there.
A father’s love is strong in its gentleness, gentle in its strength. It helps you reach new heights of happiness, new depths of understanding, new dimensions of life.
Fathers have a knowledge of life and love not found in books, but in the heart.
There is no one like a father to care so completely, give so quietly, teach so gently, love so much.
I do not know where a father goes when he dies; but I have an idea that after a good rest, he will not just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he loved and the children she bore. He will be busy there too–repairing the streets, oiling the gates, fixing the stairs, smoothing the way.
Best Wishes to all those who uphold the honorable traditions of fatherhood.