As a son and a as father each year on Father's Day my thoughts and heart turn to three things:
- Gratitude to my Heavenly Father for His kindness and love toward me and my loved ones
- Gratitude to my earthly father for the example he has and continues to show me as well as the love, time, and energy he has invested and still invests in my success and that of my family
- Memories of my time as a father
I love my dad. What a great example he is to me of what a man should be. He loves my mother unconditionally. When I was a teenager a friend of my parents told me that he was trying to be more like my dad in how he treated his wife. He said that of all of the people in the world no one knew my mom's flaws and shortcomings better than my dad; however, he acted and treated her as if she didn't have any. Now that's a man. Someone who puts his wife and family before himself, makes the sacrifices necessary to provide for them (sometimes even at great personal cost), and treats his wife (my mom) like the queen she is. Thanks Dad for your wonderful example!
Six years ago my wife, Cami, and I were expecting our first child. We had just found out that it was a boy and we were thrilled! It was fun and exciting to be pregnant (probably more so for me than for Cami) and we anxiously anticipated the arrival of our first child, my first born son.
On a cold winter morning in late November as my wife and I ended our daily morning prayer before I left for work she looked at me and said, with wide eyes, “I think my water just broke.” I was skeptical and replied that it was probably just a little bit of pee. :) I kissed her and left for work. She called me a few minutes later as I walked into my office and informed me that I was wrong and that in fact her water had broken. I prepared to come home right away.
While Cami called the doctor to let them know and grabbed her bags I let my boss know that it was time and hurried home. We arrived at the doctor's office 20 minutes later where he checked Cami, confirmed that her water had indeed broken, and sent us to the hospital. After several hours of labor (about seven) the doctor told us that our son wasn't coming and recommended a cesarean section.
We were terrified! While we had been warned that this was a possibility we didn't think it would happen and emotionally we weren't prepared. All I could focus on was that my wife, the person I loved most in all the world, was going to have major surgery and there was a chance she wouldn't come back to me (I know it was a small chance but for me any chance is too much). Cami was a little drugged at this point, exhausted from laboring, and scared for her baby and herself.
Thankfully all went well. I was allowed in the operating room, our son was “extracted” successfully, we got to see him for a minute and then the nurses whisked him away to the nursery and invited me to follow. I declined because I wanted to stay by my wife's side. Simply put, they wouldn't allow it and I was “whisked away” as well.
I spent the next hour or two in the nursery with our precious little bundle. He cried as the nurse weighed him, measured him, and did the other things they do to newborns. I cried as I looked at our new son and imagined his future (first day of school, first crush, dating, camping and hiking together, working together in the yard, doing service projects for others, planning presents for his mom, and on and on). We hadn't decided on a name yet so I didn't know what to call him but I knew that he would make me proud and that we would grow to be great friends.
Later that evening they brought my beautiful wife back to me all patched up. I introduced her to her son and began crying again as I saw her beam with joy and pride in this new little one that had just joined our family. I was so proud of her!
That day was filled with happiness and wonder for both of us. It was the day I became a father.
We have welcomed two more sons into our family since then and will soon welcome another. Each experience has been different, quite different in fact, but each was wonderful and special and once again filled me with wonder and amazement at the love I feel for each of them.
For me Father's Day is about gratitude. Gratitude for my Heavenly Father, gratitude for my dad, and gratitude for my sons.
This father's day I will celebrate by being grateful. My recommendation is that you do the same. :)