Happy Father’s Day

I watched today here as families celebrated Father’s Day. I live far away from my own Dad, but the day is no less significant for me, as a child of one dad, who has benefited from the wisdom of uncles, cousins, friends, workmates, acquaintances, pastors and neighbors too. Today, after services, a three year old said to every man that he would see near him, ” Happy Father’s Day” in a small voice with a smile from ear to ear and a hug for the men of the congregation. It was deeply moving.

In the train, on the way from the service, there was a man with a heavy bag who stood on a train where there were other seats. He looked uncomfortable, but stood, probably considering that for many of the people on the train, a heavyset olive complexioned man might frighten them, in this intolerant region. Many of the people on the train eyed him nervously. I offered him a seat next to me, and he began to tell me that he was headed for the Hard Rock Cafe for a good lunch. Turns out he was a serviceman on shore leave away from his family in Puerto Rico and wanted to have a decent meal for Father’s Day. He wistfully recounted his search for a baby supply store to go and get supplies of a certain kind of baby food for a friend stationed in Sri Lanka, who could not get that particular brand in local stores in Colombo, the capital. To him and other father’s away from their young ones, happy Father’s Day.

A friend put on his ‘away’ message, ” To the man who taught me how to be a man, happy father’s day” The best gift that a father can give to their child is to teach them how to be responsible members of the society. I can always tell who among the people I meet has been influenced by a strong father figure whether a grandpa or uncle or otherwise and those who were not paying attention during those early lessons. I say, to every man who has affirmed the dignity and worth of the women in his life, happy father’s day!

To all the single parent dad’s. To those who coach teams. To those who have mentored me. To those who have prayed with and for me. To those who protect and preserve our society. Happy Father’s Day.

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