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Friday, June 18, 2010

Here's to the Dads!

One thing I like about the Twilight Saga is its portrayal of strong father figures.

Charlie Swan loves and protects his daughter even though he doesn’t have a lot of experience in that role. Jacob Black’s father, Billy, supports and defends his son’s mystical destiny as a werewolf and leader in their tribe. Carlisle Cullen is a stellar example of compassion, strength, service and grace. (Uh, oh... SPOILER alert...) And Edward, although he acts in ignorance upon first getting the news of his pending fatherhood, eventually steps up and embraces his role with unshakable devotion and love.

Since it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, I thought I’d interrupt the Twi-devotionals as an opportunity to honor the strong father figures in my real life story.

In addition to being a Viet Nam vet, my father-in-law is a retired CHiP, a fact that totally stoked me when I found out, being a child of the 80s and totally in love with Eric Estrada and all. I actually got to tour the CHiP office that’s shown in the credits of the infamous television show! A dream come true! J But, besides being famous (in my opinion), my father-in-law is a closet sweetheart. Every time My Daniel talks to him on the phone, he asks after my welfare. Personally, I think it’s because of the date he and I went on once, way back at the beginning of my marriage to his son. My Daniel had business to attend to which I was not invited. So my father-in-law, whom I had only met maybe once or twice before, and I were “stuck” together for an entire afternoon in Hollywood, just the two of us. Judging by both of our reserved personalities, it was a giant risk! But we ended up going to a famous car museum and having a splendid day. I’ll never forget that.

My step-father (who is also a veteran FYI) and I have little history, and really I think I’m just now getting to know him after several years of his being part of my family. This I do know about him, though - He has always supported my writing, which means the world to me. He’s gone out on a limb for my Daniel and I more than once. And he always displays this kind of “on board” attitude when it comes to stepping outside the box. I can count on his enthusiasm. A recent visit, the best we’ve ever had in my opinion, allowed me to see and appreciate his sincerity. And the conversation we had sitting next to the pool on Wednesday, just the two of us, touched my heart. Thanks, Jay!

And then, of course, my dad dad… I call him my papala (you know, like Franck in Father of the Bride?). As an only child, it should come as no surprise that I am quite the daddy’s girl. I feel like we were not only cut from the same fabric, but with the same pair of scissors in the same pattern also. We think alike, reason alike, are motivated in the same ways. We enjoy many of the same books. He inspired my love for photography, having a dark room in the basement ever since I can remember. He’s my encyclopedia. If I have a question about religion, politics, science, or anything else, I ask him. My memory of growing up is full of instructed moments… how to blow a bubble with my gum…or my spit, how to swim, how to hide in “plain sight” while playing hide-and-seek, how to putt and shoot a basketball, how to play Frogger on the Apple 2E computer, how to identify butterfly and moth species, how to set up a model train, how to paint a house, how to dig up a deeply-rooted shrub in the front yard... We played kickball on the side porch together, walked our St. Bernard, Rocky, through the snow-covered alley singing the 12 Days of Christmas, and played Trivial Pursuit or The Star Wars Game around the kitchen table. He trudged through a blizzard to pick me up from elementary school once. He interrupted almost every slumber party I had to show my friends a science experiment. He kept me smiling on my wedding day as he walked me down the aisle. He treats my husband like his own son.

How could I ask for more?

So, I’ve been a blessed daughter here on this earth. I am well aware of it because I’ve met so many girls who never knew that kind of relationship with their fathers. Maybe your father was a jerk, I don’t know. If he was, I am so sorry. A daddy’s love is a unique and special thing no child should live without.

But there is One Father Who is there for every one of us, no matter what.

You know what I’m going to say, right?

Yep. The Heavenly Father.

I love meditating on the fact that God chose to relate to us as a Father to His children. He could have left it at Creator, or King or Master, with every right to expect an appropriate response from us as creation, subject, servant. Instead, because of His amazing, fathomless, powerful love, He invites us to call Him Abba, Father – a.k.a. Daddy (Rom. 8:15). He’s adopted us into His family by betrothing us to His Son Who purchased our dowry on the cross. Then He gave us His Spirit as a guarantee, an engagement ring of sorts, that we will take part in His inheritance. (Eph. 1:11-14)

So, no matter who your father-figures are, even if you just have The One, I hope you enjoy celebrating Father’s Day this weekend. Thank you, Dads!

(photos by photobucket.com)

3 comments:

lynnrush said...

Thank you dads, indeed!!! Great post!

Jenni said...

Very well written. I have tears in my eyes, because it is all so true. Thanks once again, Lori, for an amazing post.

Lori Lundquist said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! Appreciate the comments! God bless you!