June 18 is Father’s Day in the USA.* Happy Father’s Day.
“Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” is a song written by Motown songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and released in 1972 by the singing group The Temptations. “Papa was a rollin’ stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home …” As the title and lyrics suggest, the father in this song was not committed to one family or one relationship. The fathers noted in the paragraphs below are not rolling stones.
Demetrius and Keneetra loved their father, John. When John was not at work, he spent most of his time at home: eating, gardening, cleaning, talking, advising, reading, playing, and praying with his family. John comforted his kids when they were sad or mad and laughed at their silly jokes. John had male friends who treated their kids the same way he did. All of them loved their kids and felt it was an honor and a blessing to have kids.
Demetrius and Keneetra’s mother told John that he spoiled the kids, but John denied her accusations. He told her that he disciplined the kids when necessary. He just did not consider it as necessary as often as she did. His wife just shook her head, knowing her protests fell on John’s deaf ears. A smile for John.
Last week, I ran into a father walking down Main Street with his young daughter. I stopped them to let them know that the Adler Planetarium was free that week. The father’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. He said he was so happy to learn of another place to take his daughter. He thanked me profusely. His joyous reaction made me glad I had intruded into their day.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked two young men (Isaac and Max) at a gathering to summarize their thoughts about their father in one sentence. They said it would be difficult to do so in one sentence, but they would try. They told me that they were greatly impressed with their father’s decision to go back to school so that he could provide his patients with additional services. Wow. Their interest in and admiration of their dad was awesome.
There have always been men who go out of their way to provide father-ship to kids who have no fathers. Thank you, men, for being there. Happy Father’s Day.
*Father’s Day occurs on different dates in different countries. The first observance of a “Father’s Day” in the U.S.A. was held in a Fairmont, W. Va. church to honor the 250 fathers who lost their lives in the December 1907 Monongah mining disaster. Although there were various attempts to make Father’s Day an official holiday, it was not until 1966 that “President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.” President Richard Nixon made it a permanent national holiday by law in 1972.