“A child is not likely to find a Father in God unless he finds something of God in his Father.” –Austin L. Sorenson
“My child, listen to what I say and treasure my commands. Turn your fears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding” – Proverbs 2:1-2 NLT
On July 15, 2010, my son posted something I had written called, “Father’s Day Felons”. That article was written, and posted, after Father’s Day and was a response to the day itself—my own thoughts and feelings, as well as my impressions of what those around me were thinking and feeling.
In that article I wrote, “ A Day that used to be filled with a tremendous amount of pride and happiness suddenly has become a day I will dread, each time it arrives, for as long as I am here.”
Well Father’s Day #2 is right around the corner and while I am pretty certain that most of the thoughts and emotions that I wrote about last year will still be at the forefront of my heart and mind this year when the day actually arrives, I must revise part of the statement I quoted.
I do not dread this Father’s Day. No, I do not dread it at all—in fact , I am EXCITED to see this Father’s Day approaching and I look FORWARD to Father’s Day 2012 because it will be the next to the last one I will spend in prison. My projected release date is about one month before Father’s Day 2014.
Last year I wrote about my pervading sense of personal failure that I felt in relation to my own two children. I still recognize that I failed them both miserably—and in many ways—but I still pray for their forgiveness, understanding, and love every day.
Instead of dreading the day, though, I will use it as a reminder of how a Father IS supposed to act and what a father is supposed to BE.
Instead of dreading the day, I look forward to it and will use it as a marker of time until the day when I can once again hold them and kiss them and tell them I love them with nothing between us but that slight bit of air capable of finding space between us.
On Father’s day in June of 2014, my children will be proud of me. That is my goal. That is my objective. If I cannot achieve that goal in the time I will have spent in prison, then I will have wasted that time and I refuse to do that for I have already wasted enough time in my life.
I have shorthanded enough people who wanted nothing from me but my time and my love and I’ll not deprive them of either of those things again. The Lord has gotten me from Father’s Day I to Father’s Day II and has enabled me to do it with ever-increasing faith, confidence, wisdom, and understanding. He has helped me learn that I am important to a number of people in this world and that it is incumbent upon me to be someone who can be relied upon and looked up to.
For anyone reading his who has a Father in a similar situation as me, being angry and hurt is normal and acceptable but it is also necessary to move beyond that and begin looking away from the past—which got us here—and to begin looking to the future. Which will move us forward.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish a “Happy Father’s Day” to two of the best fathers I know—my son’s stepfather, Russ and my sister’s husband Larry. I thank you both, individually for different reasons, but together for what you have in common—you are both top notch fathers!
And for all of the Father’s who will see this Father’s day pass from behind walls, fences, or wire—this will make it one less we all face in here.
That is something, anyway.