The Goodness of Imperfect Fathers

Dad, me, Art, Mom
  My father wasn’t perfect—he drank too much and smoked unfiltered cigarettes and died too soon. However, these aren’t the moments I recall. Much of the goodness in me and my family is the direct result of him.
  He adored my mother. I remember him coming home from work and we kids would crow for his attention. We received our hugs and kisses, but then he got to mom. He’d hold her in the kitchen and they’d hug and smooch—none of us existed in that moment. Their love came first.
  His interests centered on his boat—and the boat meant family time. We spent summers sailing the Long Island Sound, picnicking on sandbars, fishing off the boat and cruising. 
  He’d arrive home from work at the same time daily. The great joy of my life was to “surprise” him by walking the half-mile to the main road to meet him.
  These are  heirlooms I can finger, joys that play out in my life today.
Bob, Dad, Janine, Alan
  He consciously taught me not to smoke by showing me the tar his cigarettes produced. Neil bought a boat and it’s the one motorized entertainment I relish. And today, when Neil’s return from work nears, I grab the dog, and walk down the route he takes. I feel a childhood joy in meeting my love.
  Little details of my life show my father’s impact: my love of reading, Of classical music, the joy of learning.
  He taught me faithfulness to my spouse and integrity.
  My father loved anything to do with the sea—was a commander in the Long Island Coast Guard Auxiliary. His dedication to altruistic causes flows in my veins.
  And how about you, fathers? You see your flaws, and honestly, so do your children. But they see your goodness and both will impact them for the rest of their lives. 
Marianne, Mom, Dad, Art, Bob, J-9, Al
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  Strengthen what’s good and perfect and true—it will push out the negative.
  And children—what do you choose to remember about your father? You can allow bitterness and unforgiveness to highlight the pain or allow Jesus to help you forgive so you know this man as God designed him to be.
  This Father’s Day celebrate the dad he always wanted to be.

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  1. Thanks, everyone. And Shelley–you said it right when you told your uncle how good an uncle he was. We all do good things–we need to let people know where they shine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If only we could see ourselves the way others see us… what would be different?? I took the time to tell an uncle (with a drinking problem) what a great uncle he had been and what I loved about him. He teared-up. I never regret that conversation. Although he fell short in other places, as an uncle, he excelled. When I was one-year married, my father told me what a wonderful surprise I was as an adult daughter. Take the time to show someone what you feel for them. Tell several 'someones'. ~SLF

  3. Julia says:

    I love this…thanks for posting.

  4. Thank you, mom. He was a good man–too bad people fall prisoner to alcohol. People say I'll forgive but I'll never forget. If one truly forgives, then forgetfulness follows.

  5. Anonymous says:

    beautiful – it brought tears to my eyes, being his wife i knew how much he loved his children, and when he became ill, how sad he was because he could not be the father and husband he wanted to be, Yes, forgiveness is a blessing only God can grant us and with that blessing the love for the person can be enjoyed without restraint or bitterness.

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