My sister and I have different fathers, but her dad loomed large when I was growing up. My mom told me a lot of good things about him, but I also knew he had some failings. And no two women experienced the hurt of those failings more than my mom and sister.
As a kid, I thought my sister didn’t love her dad because she had so little contact with him, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that love manifests itself in strange ways sometimes. That’s why I’m sharing this Father’s Day reflection written by sister, Lawrie Wallace.
I hope it encourages each of you — no matter what your relationship with your dad may be like.
I had a father. I knew him, and I loved him. I lived with my mother and him for the first five years of my life. Then my parents got a divorce.
My daddy had a deep voice, a great loud laugh, big hands, good hair and was mighty handsome. I felt protected in his presence and safe. But he just didn’t know how to love his only girl.
He loved cigarettes, good whiskey, coffee by the gallons, playing cards, and women. He just never really grew up. He just didn’t realize or understand what all he was missing out on with his children. At times, he had good intentions but the intentions just never really got off the ground.
As I’ve grown older, I believe he loved himself more than his family. That understanding has helped me somewhat in dealing with my desire to have a daddy who doted on me like I saw other girls have.
However, there were times when I needed him and he came through. For example, he consistently helped pay for my apartment in college. He gave me high school graduation money but didn’t attend my graduation. He walked me down the aisle but never saw my children.
I chased after him wanting his love and affection. Alas, chasing got old. He lived his life and I lived mine.
Then Daddy got cancer. I was too hurt, mad, and prideful to go see him. In 2009, my mother is the one who met me at my house after school to tell me Daddy had died. I did sing at his funeral, but I was mostly numb from hurt.
I’ve had men who poured love into me like my maternal grandfather, my Uncle Rod, and my Uncle Richard. My husband Don’s daddy loved me, and Don has tried to love the hurt away.
I’m so thankful today that my children have known a true father’s love. They have never been second place because their daddy grew up and chose to love his family more than himself.
My counselor would be happy today because I’m crying my eyeballs out over Daddy. Today it just hit me all over again that he’s gone, and I might like to hear his voice one more time.
If you have a daddy who loves you, cares for you, and he’s still alive then give him a big hug. He’s a bigger gift than you could ever possibly know.