Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2012

It was many years after my childhood when I realized my father was way ahead of his time. He blazed a trail, going where few men had gone before… the kitchen. If we went to school hungry, it certainly wasn’t his fault. In fact, it was very difficult to get out of the house without eating breakfast. Don’t think he did as I would later do with my own children and point to the Pop-Tarts or tell them to fix cereal in a plastic cup to eat on the way to school. No way. He insisted we sit down to eat the most important meal of the day. Bacon, eggs, grits, biscuits, fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice were our breakfast staples.

To give us a break from the cafeteria, he would occasionally bring us lunch at school. In addition to the hamburger, fries and a Coke from Mac’s Grill, the bag would also hold a York peppermint patty bought from Donaldson’s Drug Store, conveniently located across the street from the bank where he worked. But the candy always smelled like Brut. I concluded that he would buy the candy, put it in his suit pocket where it absorbed the scent of the cologne, then pick up the hamburgers and deliver them to school. This helps to explain why I think of Brut and Dad and hamburgers and St. Peter School, when I see a York peppermint patty. (Why I can remember all of this yet walk into a parking lot without a clue as to the location of my car remains a mystery.)

I love celebrations and am happy to celebrate Father’s Day with him this month. I’d also like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to the men whose lives I’ve observed, some from a distance and some up close.

Happy Father’s Day…

…to the fathers who work 40+ hours per week to house, feed, clothe and educate their children. On top of that, they volunteer hours of their time at school, church and in the community. May their diligent example echo for generations to come and urge many others into lives of service.

…to the men who have jumped off of the corporate ladder, realizing the money they made was nothing compared to the moments they missed. May they experience the overflowing blessings of God for their commitment to their family.

…to the dads who have the wisdom to draw boundary lines for their children and the courage to maintain those boundaries. Remember that the best guards are placed around the most valuable treasures. May they be strengthened in their God-ordained positions.

…to the men who, for a season or for a lifetime, have found room in their hearts and in their homes to care for someone else’s child. May they reap bountifully from their giving.

…to the fathers who are waiting for their prodigals to come home or for those whose child has preceded them to our Heavenly home. May they find continual comfort from the Holy Spirit of our God.

…to the dads who, at times, were called to also fulfill the role of Mom. This includes my own husband who spent nearly a year cleaning up after I suffered the effects of chemotherapy, taking care of our four young children, and keeping up with his job. He has never, ever, even in the midst of our most lively conversations, brought up all of the sacrifices he’s made. May he one day see in himself what I see in him daily.

…to the men who have been diligent to train their children in the ways of our Lord. May they find great joy in watching the seeds they’ve planted bear much fruit.

These men may never see their names in lights or as the byline of a best-seller, but no earthly achievements would make me respect them more. They are men of integrity. They do the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do, and I believe all of Heaven applauds them.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.