I have two fathers to celebrate with on Father’s Day, my earthly one and my Heavenly One. Yesterday I wrote a poem for my father in this life. I love them both dearly and owe them the world. It pains me to see the father that I have here on earth growing smaller and frailer as the years go by. He will be 82 in September and it seems that he has shrunk immensely over the last 5 or 6 years. Of course, as a child, he always was larger than life. As we both have aged, he has become more appropriately sized in my mind. But still, my daddy will always be the gentle, roaring lion of old. I remember so many things from the past as I think of him today and one in particular stands out because my youngest daughter and I were just talking about it the other day and I thought I would share it with you.
After I left my abuser and got my own apartment, my son and her were living there. He was about 15 at this time and she was 4. I was continually grounding him, it seemed, for a variety of “crimes”. One day I had decided that it was not working. It had become a joke among his friends and when they would call, the first thing they asked was, “So, are you grounded today?”
I don’t recall what he was in trouble for this time, but I decided that while he was gone to school I would remove his new PlayStation from his room. He had just gotten it from his dad for Christmas. I figured that would drive my point home more than grounding him. Of course, when he got home he was livid. We had been dealing with the issue of his temper for a while and it got out of hand on this particular day.
To say that he was throwing a fit would be putting it mildly. As I heard him kicking and punching the walls and door of his bedroom, I walked in to see there were holes in both. I screamed at him to stop but to no avail. He was out of control. I told him that I was going to call Grandpa if he did quit. He yelled back at me, “Go ahead, I’m not afraid of that old man!” I calmly said to him, “You will be.”
I immediately picked up the phone and did exactly what I said. When dad answered, I told him that I needed help and he said that he would be right there. We only lived about 6 blocks away from each other and he arrived within minutes. When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was the look of anger on his face and the second was the axe handle in his hand. I thought to myself, “Oh man, is he gonna get it now!”
My dad walked straight to the bedroom and flung the door open. When he saw the holes in everything, he yelled, “Boy! What do you think you’re doing?!”, as he raised the axe handle and pointed it in my son’s face. Then, “Don’t think I won’t use this on you! You may be my grandson but that’s my daughter in there and she comes first!! I’m gonna bring you some spackeling and paint and you are going to fix every one of these holes. What is wrong with you?!”
My son’s eyes were the size of silver dollars. I have to laugh now when I think of it! After my dad left the room, I said to him, “Thanks dad, I didn’t know what else to do.” And he replied, “That’s alright, I’ll be right back.” When he left, I walked into my son’s room and said to him, “So, you’re not afraid of ‘that old man’ huh? Bet you’re afraid of him now!”
After he stammered a bit he replied, “I thought he was going to hit me with that axe handle. I’ve never seen him so mad!” My response was, “What did you expect? I’m his daughter and I came before you!”
We all laugh about it now and when I reminded my dad today, he chuckled and quietly said, “That’s right!” God bless you dad. I love you more than words can ever say. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.
Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!
In His love,