When I looked up the definition of "fatherhood", it said "the kinship relation between an offspring and the father".
Of course, they are half of the two-part plan that produces life but they're so much more than that.
I've been blessed to have known both of my grandfathers - they died when I was in my late twenties. My maternal grandfather, Pop, LOVED anything with feathers! He raised parakeets and kept them in a room off his office. There were nest boxes on the walls of the room and the birds were so colorful as they flew about. He also raised homing pigeons. One time, someone gave him a duck and since he didn't have a pond, he filled a large roasting pan with water. I told him that the duck might get the wrong idea.
My paternal grandparents lived in the country. I remember the many Friday nights I spent at their house. Every Saturday morning, my grandfather, D, would cook flapjacks (pancakes) in an iron skillet. Every breakfast began at the kitchen table with D reading a scripture from the Bible and saying a prayer while my grandparents held hands. I remember whenever they'd go anywhere in the car, D would drive and Helen D. would sit in the middle of the seat and they would hold hands on the seat between them. Then, we'd go for long walks on the railroad tracks across from the house. We'd finally end up at the little country store down the road where I'd get a piece of green apple bubblegum. I remember D's pipe and boy, could he tell a story!
Each set of my grandparents were married 60-70 years.
I'm extra blessed to still have my father. You may remember that on January 10th of this year, I almost lost him to a very serious heart attack. Daddy will be 85 this fall so we've had many wonderful years together. I have such fond memories of camping trips to the beach and mountains, picnics at Pumpkin Creek, sledding, learning to drive a stick-shift VW, and so many more. My mother and father will be celebrating their 63rd anniversary this year.
So, what does the word "father" mean to me? A father is a loving example, a pillar of the family, stern when he needs to be but a softie underneath, patient, a support through all life's ups and downs.
I'm so lucky to have had these wonderful relationships in my life. Wonderful fathers who have been such terrific role models for me. Fathers who have not just talked the talk but who have walked the walk and led by example. It takes a strong man to live his life in a manner that's suitable for a child's eyes, ears, and growing mind. A child sees all and hears all. Then, they form conclusions. I'm glad my father and grandfathers were strong men.
Life goes on. Fathers help create future fathers. And so forth and so on. A father's love - absolutely priceless!
So, to my Daddy - Love You and Happy Father's Day!!!
To Andy - Happy Father's Day to you, too! It was definitely a Father's Day feel around here today - NPR radio all day long and then the new Superman movie!
To each of our boys - hope your day was special. As your children grow older this day will be even more fun!
To come - new soap pictures and this blog turns seven!