Tomorrow, literally millions of men will be honored and pampered for their performances in the role of Fatherhood.
Some 35 years ago when I was just a just a young, teen-age girl, my oldest son Joe & I were on our own and looking for both a husband for me, and a daddy for him. I had an idea in my head of the kind of man I was looking for that could fulfill one of the most important roles not only in my life, but in the life of Joe and all my future children. I had prayed that God might lead me to just such a man. Shortly after this prayer, I met Jeff.
Right from the very beginning of our relationship it was very obvious to me that I had met a very unique man. His delight and pleasure in spending time with Joe right along with me, let me know his love of kids and his ability of not only performing the duties that come along with a baby, but of entertaining them and making them squeal with sheer joy. Joe quickly became VERY attached to Jeff right along with me, and when we decided to get married a few short months later, I believed Jeff when he told me just how pleased he was to be getting a built in son in the deal. Jeff officially adopted Joe immediately after we married, spending money (which at the time seemed to be a HUGE amount) as he considered it his number one priority. Joe began imitating Jeff in everything he did. His elaborate games of make believe always included the personality traits he admired most in his daddy (strength, boldness, and the ability to make things fun) right along with trying to dress just like him. Their relationship brought such warmth to my heart it would be very difficult to describe, as they had both discovered just how special the other really was. When John and Jimmy were added to our family in the next few years my thankfulness for the man I married continued to grow and grow. To say he was a "hands on" father doesn't really paint the picture fully. There really wasn't anything he didn't do. From changing diapers, taking his turn in the middle of the night feeding a hungry baby, bath time, and numerous times of just totally taking over while I got a much needed break out of the house with a girl friend, he was there. I remember a few hard days with the boys (they were soooo active and wild haha) waiting in the drive way for Jeff to come home from work so I could quickly pass the kids off, and make my get away even if it was only to my own bedroom with the door shut and a good book to have a moment or two of "quiet". Jeff would not only feed all 3 kids, play with them any game they managed to come up, and would then bathe them and get them all to bed. It was wonderful and no doubt the only reason I managed to get through some of those early difficult years with the boys. They all lived for the moment he got home from work and would come running (literally) from wherever they were to my call of "Daddy's home". As the boys grew, they all learned to play sports from their dad, and Jeff was not only their biggest fan and supporter, he was often their coach. All of the boy’s friends loved Jeff too, and always wanted to be included in the games (whatever they might be) along with them, and Jeff always welcomed them in. It got so that wherever we were living all the neighborhood kids would come to the door wanting not only the boys to come out and play, but for them to bring their daddy along as well. He played basketball with them, football, baseball, and threw them all around in the pool. He also spent countless hours doing Science Fair projects with them, which was the one school assignment I just couldn't seem to handle, haha. They were legendary at our house, and all of the boys took their turns placing "first" in their contests at school. When we finally added a little girl to our family I had absolutely no doubt that there was never a boy born who had a better father ~ but a girl was totally an uncharted area for us both. But from the moment that sweet little baby all dressed in pink smiled up at her daddy, he was wrapped around her tiny little finger and there just wasn't a road he wouldn't travel or a mountain he couldn't climb to make her happy and protected, and it hasn't changed to this day. I don't think any little girl ever born could have had a better daddy. He was her hero and biggest fan all rolled into one. From the house he built her to "play" in when she was only 3, to the thousands of dollars and literally countless hours spent on softball for years and years, never missing a practice or a game, to his total and complete support the moment she decided she had enough, to the patience and never a complaint spoken when she and I would disappear for HOURS (leaving him alone at home with Elvis) on our long drives and "hashes" when she was in high school, to the beautiful and memorable wedding he paid for with not so much as a question, he was there. And I haven't even mentioned the breakfasts on a tray, the going to fill her car with gas for her WHENEVER that might be needed, the money he'd hand her whenever she might say, "Daddy, I need to do some shopping" or the countless pets she "just had to have" over the years even though it was a given he would be the one providing the day to day care. There just wasn't anything at all he could refuse her.
I haven't even touched on the more important issues of the things he provided for all of his children through the years such as his wisdom on life or his deep faith in God and the importance of a spiritual life. The fact that he worked hard over the years providing them all with a wonderful home and all the needs that come along with a large family cannot be ignored either. He lived these things out for them to see and experience and the value of it has yet to be fully seen or appreciated, as I believe they will be carried on in their lives and in the lives of our grand children. All of his children love and appreciate him, and even though they are all grown adults, still want to spend as much time with him (still playing all their games) as they can. And the grand kids are all quickly learning what a special Grandpa they have.
I think the role of a father in a person's life is maybe one of the most significant roles anyone might ever have. It has so much power and importance in how a person’s life is formed. I feel my prayer of years and years ago was answered in an overwhelming and abundant way, and I will be forever grateful. My kids truly grew up with the best dad in the world. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY JEFF, and may the Lord bless and keep you always.
Psalm 127:3 & 4 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
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