|(From left: me rocking the paisley look, Dad, Scott, Mom, Dave)|
We make assumptions about others, even from a very early age. There is a wonderful little girl named Faith who has been on my basketball team at camp the past two weeks. I mentioned Father's Day being this Sunday and she asked about my children. I told her I did not have any and Faith very innocently with sadness in her voice asked, "Did they all die?" I assured Faith that I have never been married and thus have no kids. She seemed relieved and resumed her basketball tasks. (My best compliment of camp came when another of the diminutive campers asked if Lizeth, my voluntary assistant coach who plays on my school team, was my daughter!) The things kids say.
This has been a most interesting weekend on Facebook. I would guess close to half of the posts and status updates had to do with Father's Day, pictures of daddies, and childhood family memories. My brothers, Dave and Scott, posted separate shots of Dad with Mom, not long before he died, with very fitting words as accompaniment. I changed my Facebook cover shot to one of a much younger Roger Hawley, circa forty years old, baptizing a young man at Nebraska Youth Camp. All three of our Facebook memorials were met with numerous likes and comments as I would expect- Dad was beloved by many and considered by not a few as a type of surrogate father. I feel we hit the parental lottery with both Mom and Dad.
But while I'm grateful for what I had and took for granted, I realize not everyone had the blessing of an ever-present father. When I was small, none of my friends' parents were divorced and all of them lived under the same roof. Much has changed since then, a fact I'm more aware of each year in school. That's why in an odd way the following was my favorite Facebook post of the day and let me warn you, it's not what you expect:
As I scroll through Facebook today & see all the pics with kids & their dads & the posts thanking their dads, even my own post & pics, I could cry because my father chose to miss out on my life....R------------ --------------, wherever you are in this world, guess what? YOU MISSED OUT cause your daughter is awesome, just sayin! So to all of you that had or have the same kinda father as me, guess what? We rose above and it's their loss, not ours!!
Let me tell you why I like this post. The young lady who penned it was a student of mine. (I took the artistic name of almost deleting her dad's name.) She was intelligent and even though a cheerleader, she had a certain toughness about her. (NO OFFENSE, CHEERLEADERS!) But do you know what always impressed me? She took care of her little sister every day. She displayed a maturity I didn't have to dial up until much later due to her circumstances. I never heard her complain- I just saw she did what she needed to be done for the benefit of her family. After I read what she wrote, I looked back on her FB page and clicked on pictures of her husband and children- what a handsome and happy family! I'm not here to judge her dad but to celebrate the life she has made for herself, her kids, and her husband. She is right- SHE IS AWESOME! And thank you, Lord, for putting me into the family of Roger and Nelda Hawley and I pray others will step up for the kids who lack what I took nonchalantly. Happy Father's Day!
Applicable quote of the day:
"It is much easier to become a father than to be one."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org