Celebrating Father's Day (the third Sunday in June) is a tradition in the United States. This is a day for the entire family to go to Mass and to pray for fathers and grandfathers.
Today is a day to be thankful for fathers and all that they do and have done for us. As I remember my own father who went Home to His Heavenly Father several years ago, I remember how much he loved me, my mother, and our entire family. He was a wonderful provider for our family, of course, and to this day I can hear his voice saying, "Never miss a day of work." And, he never did.
But more than that, I remember how he led our family in the faith - how he always drove us to Mass and insisted that all seven of us arrive there at least fifteen minutes before Mass began (This wasn't easy with five women and only one bathroom in the house.) I remember how he was actively involved in the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus, and how he led us in the holy rosary and encouraged us to sing "Immaculate Mary" and "Holy God" on road trips. (It certainly kept us from arguing with one another). I remember how he built a beautiful grotto to Our Blessed Mother out of some stones he collected. He planted the beautiful roses that grew in front of that gorgeous grotto and he nurtured them with loving care.
I love the things that he taught me: how to cook French toast, how to plant and care for a garden, how to dig up night crawlers and fish, how to peel potatoes (one of the tasks he performed in the Army), and how to appreciate beauty in nature and in the simple things in life.
I am thankful for all the times he was patient with me: when I styled his thick, wavy hair with my brush and comb into every imaginable hairdo of the day, while he was watching his baseball games; and when I (along with my 3 sisters) spent an hour in the bathroom trying to look beautiful.
I remember all the fun we had: playing baseball as a family, going on picnics in the park, cooking out in our own backyard, having weenie roasts and bonfires. I loved the stories my dad would tell me about his childhood, growing up on a farm, his time in the Civil Conservation Corps and in the Army, and the stories of how he and my mom (the city girl) first met and fell in love.
One of the things that I loved about my dad the most was how much he loved my mom. He was physically affectionate toward her and never afraid to tell her how much he loved her. Of course they had arguments like all couples do, but they forgave one another and made up. They were married for 50+ years and I will never forget the deep love and devotion he had for her. As they got older, he cared for her physical needs when he himself was suffering from lung cancer.
I am most thankful that he and my mom prayed for me daily, especially that I would find a good Catholic man to marry. Today I am thanking God for both fathers - both manly men, both strong in their Catholic faith.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!
Happy Father's Day to my dear husband, Bill!
Happy Father's Day to all fathers! Have a blessed day!