Our last birthday together in 2009
I am pretty sure that I mentioned before that you knew you were part of the family if Dad yelled at you at least once.
It was part of his nature to raise his voice. But the occasions that he did yell usually concerned a cow getting past your horse or out the gate. It might have been coaching a kid on roping, to "Take Your Dallies." It might have been a time when you were driving a tractor and tipped over the pipe trailer.
Today is a bittersweet one for many of us. We have such rich and varied memories of our dads. Some of us continue to feel grief in unexpected ways. Living in Missouri, I didn't have the luxury of sharing a day with my family about those past memories of Father's Day spent with Dad. Or even the ones that I missed because of pride.
Our Dad was a talented individual. He enjoyed so many things during his lifetime. As a result, he made an impact on so many people's lives.
My husband David is a quiet person. He thinks and feels deeply. Today is not only Father's Day, but his birthday too. A milestone one at that.
Being a step-parent is not an easy task and at best a daunting one. A confirmed bachelor, he took on two kids past the "cute and cuddly" stage at the age of 38. We all had to make some huge adjustments that first year or so. I have to salute his fortitude and commitment to all of us.
I don't mention Werner, my first husband all that much. But there were things that he did as a father that made an impact on his children's lives. He taught them to fish. He made them things with his hands. He changed their diapers and walked the floor with them. He loved his kids and had a great deal of fun with them. He passed away when his first grandchild was only a couple months old.
Choosing to be a father is more than just a life-long commitment. It is a promise to love the mother of your children and to respect her.
We can't predict the events that will change our lives forever. We can only keep our hearts open to love.
Fathers have big shoes to fill. Some of them wear cowboy boots, boat shoes, steel-toed shoes, loafers or sandals. Either way, they leave a footprint for their loved ones to follow.
Our Dad loved to teach; tease and be a cowboy. He loved horses, but loved our mother and his children more.
My husband David keeps a quiet counsel and listens with his heart always. He ventures well-chosen words to those who ask his opinion. The most amazing thing is that he never seems to understand how much he is loved by many.
Today, there are new fathers out there, looking into their newborn's bright eyes. They feel the tug of responsibility to this new life. It is beyond their comprehension how that first smile will impact their hearts forever, but it will.
For those of us who believe in a Higher Power or God, we know how wonderful a Father's Love is for each of us. We know the ultimate sacrifice that He made to give us everlasting life.
Happy Father's Day Everyone.