"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Friday, June 13, 2008

On Fathers Day

I will be out of town with family for the next 10 days, so this will be last post until June 25. Those few who labor to read me, please don't go away forever!
The occurrence of Fathers Day causes me to consider several issues. One, that my son's father has never seen him or spoken to him, much less inquired about his well being. In my sons 21 years of life, his father has made no financial or emotional contribution. That being said, I have never been bitter nor resentful to the fact that as a doctor, he had the financial resources to help, but didn't. Friends have asked why I never sued him for support. At the time, when my son was a baby, I was so consumed in the gift of having a child and all the wonders of it; I just couldn't be bothered with anything that might make it a negative experience. As he grew, we had some rocky times financially. But with family help we always had everything we needed. And there were also emotionally rough times…all those family trees in early school years always demanded explanations as to why our family structure was different then most. But in the end, I had the gift of a child to rise and to love. His father made his choice and that was to not participate. His choice…..he just decided he wouldn't have a son. I often wonder what his life is like now; I think his lack of responsibility must weigh heavy on his heart. Or not.

I watch my best friend L struggle with his life now that his children live several hours away from him. On one hand, I doubt Fathers Day is any different from any other to him. It's another day away from his kids, regardless of the date. I think all a man wants on Fathers Day is more time with his children. But on the other hand, it hurts to think he will spend that day alone, when he should be celebrated as a wonderful Dad. He struggles for his time with them, from the 10 hours of driving to spend a weekend with them, to the serious financial considerations of divorce. But… he is there, as much as possible . He is there for his children for the bad times; when they hate him, misunderstand him, mistrust him, question his faith…..and for the good times; when despite it all they love him deeply, just don't know how to show it without choking on learned pride. A man who is a father, is a father for life. Divorced, married, single, absent…... Each decides what kind of Father he will be. It's the mark of the man.


Anonymous said...

I don't have any respect for a man who abdicates his responsibilities as a father. But, ultimately, it is that man who really loses out.

Coll said...

Father's day is bitter sweet here. My own dad died nine years ago. My children lost their dad last year. For us it is a day of coming together to remember.

It seems sad that your son never new his dad.. but if he was such a man that he chose not to know his son.. perhaps it is for the best.

kats said...

I think that if you look close enough, there's not such thing as a normal family. Even though some looks pretty average, I guess every one has their issues. Father's day used to bother me a lot and I would start to suffer a week in advance (I don't speak to mine very often and my stepdad, who raised me, died almost ten years ago). But I've been trying to take it easy and I've been much better in the last couple of years. Maybe it's because my husband also lives away from his family, so don't attend any father's day activities...