Walking in a Father’s Footsteps
Peace-makers, guards, and protectors. The best dad’s a little of each – and a whole lot more.
If this world needs anything, it is good, old-fashioned dads.
Throughout history, from the Garden of Eden until today, there have been no better role models than those who serve in the distinguished personage of a father.
Of course, most such men would never claim they are held high in anyone’s acclaim. They just work alongside the mother of children, provide a goodly share of financial and moral support for the sustenance of life, and try their best to be the peace-maker when words fly, tempers clash and minds get one-sided.
What fathers lack in perfection, they gain in household bravery. Most look to the simple side of life rather than the lavish. They dance to nature’s music that’s made when they walk across a yard and hear the leaves and acorns crunch beneath their feet.
They crave a chance to tell stories about growing up two generations earlier, and they migrate into old age thinking kids need to slow down, act more like they did as youngsters, and wishing they themselves could serve as replacement troops for many of the personal challenges, problems and wars their children will face.
Fathers sometimes aren’t the best at explaining themselves – certainly not like mothers can do.
Instead, they bite their lips, stand against the wall when the activity grows rowdy, and try to portray the false impression that all is under control.
It seldom is.
A dad’s prayer at the dinner table is about as close to God as you’ll ever get, until you walk through those golden gates someday. And, whether they know it or not, there are little eyes peeking all the while to see exactly how he does it, what he might say next, and whether he will list everybody whose broken life might need such a mention.
The tears of a father might be infrequent, but they are genuine, and they wash away life’s fears.
His walk, although seldom straight, is the one his children try to replicate. His voice is remembered, even long after he leaves this earth. And, a father’s hands are specially formed by the creator to guide, guard and protect those he has been blessed to lead, ever so briefly.
There are no medals for being a father. No wages paid for his love. No retirement from the job that he loves the most.
A man can earn, spurn and learn. Yet, there is no sight, no feeling, no words that ever will make him stand taller than to see a child running toward him, arms outstretched, squealing the words that make him beam – “Daddy!”
Happy Father’s Day, all.
Rudy Taylor and his family publish three weekly newspapers in southeast Kansas, with offices in Sedan, Caney, Cherryvale, Independence and Oswego. He is the father of two sons and a daughter.