|By Tanya Pinto, Canada [ Published Date: June 18, 2005 ]|
I was recently reading an article about the difference between a father and a dad. According to the article, anyone can be a father thanks to biology, but to be a dad implies a deeper level of personal involvement and commitment; a response to immense love and devotion, that is not simply a result of biology. There are enough wonderful dads who are not related via bloodline to prove that statement correct.
Most of us have known a few people whose fathers are unfortunately absent or spend minimal time being present in their lives. The issue is not just about spending enough or more on your child but the issue always seems to be about caring, listening, and spending quality time together whether its during vacations or weekend trips or evenings at home.
After my own dad’s death, I think what I miss most is his phone call at the end of the day where dad and I would go over my days events, most of which were mundane, but he nevertheless seemed interested. He would always end the conversation with one question. “Everything ok?” The answer to this particular question was always essential to him. And if I ever said things were not ok, dad would always find a way to make it ok, or at least try. I remember there were times when I said, “Dad you don’t know what you are talking about...” when he would offer what I thought were some loopy suggestions. But that would not stop him. He was troubled because I was troubled. And because of that he would always persist in caring, in helping, in listening and in loving.
Most of us have received those forwards where they say someone is thinking of you and smiling right now at this moment in time etc etc. Well, someone might be thinking of you and smiling, but it takes a special someone who cares about you to put aside the ubiquitous chores of daily life to translate that thought into action, to ask you if everything is ok and if you need anything. It takes a special someone to put aside the ambitions of a career to make the time to spend with you during your vacation or a weekend and make sure you are having a good time. It takes a special someone to put aside their own desires and goals so that your desires and goals can be realized. And it takes a special someone to do all this selflessly, not selfishly.
Dads have an uncanny knack of usually being that special someone. Maybe it is because they have been given the opportunity to be present at every moment of your life. Maybe it is because of the opportunity that they have been given to love you wholly. Maybe it is because they understand more so than most, the enormous impact a person can make in your life if someone just took the moment to care, to listen and to help. Many dads often rise to the challenge and seize these opportunities. And in doing so, they transform our lives.
To all those Dads in our lives who give special meaning to the word Father, I say Thank you Always!!
Now on to a poem I came across that beautifully captures everything said and unsaid…
Her hair up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school
and she couldn't wait to go.
Her Mommy tried to tell her
that she probably should stay home.
The kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid,
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates,
on this special Daddy's Day.
But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why, once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school,
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees,
a dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall,
in back for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called,
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
and every child turned to stare.
Each of them were searching
for a man who wasn't there.
"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."
The words did not offend her,
as she smiled at her friends.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to begin.
With hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique:
"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could
be with me on this special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so."
"He loved to tell me stories,
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing all alone.
'Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
"he'll forever be here in my heart"
With that her little hand reached up
and laid across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
From somewhere in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.
She stood up for the love
of a daddy not there by her side.
Who would be doing all he could for her,
doing what was right.
When she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but a message so clear and loud.
"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
If he could he would be here,
but heaven's just too far.
Sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
Then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
To her mother's amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for just a second,
they saw him at her side.
"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
What happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
No one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there placed on her desktop,
was a beautiful single pink rose.
A child was blessed, if for only a moment,
by the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.
"I love you too daddy!" - Cheryl Costello-Forshey
Happy Father’s Day!!