Today is a day of remembering our fathers. Along with our natural fathers perhaps we remember our spiritual fathers, our country's founding fathers, our Abba Father, our husbands and sons. In short, it is a day to remember all the blessings that come from the men in our lives. I did not have the privilege of growing up with my own dad, but I have been given such a blessing in watching my husband with our children. There is something particularly sweet about a grown man beaming at his tiny newborn, tenderly kissing the boo-boos from a two-year old's imagined scrape, laughing at the "funny" jokes a 4 year old says, generously praising the efforts of a seven year old nervously trying their wings in public performance, and patiently allowing a 9 year old the room to grow through that awkward stage. Today, Christopher's children, each in their own way, gave him something that represented their thanks for the sacrifice, hard work, love, and irreplaceability of him in their life.
Hannah: beautifully wrapped an atlas of Egypt. She knows how much her daddy enjoys maps, atlases, and geography, and made the practical step of placing value on what he would like. She grows more responsible by the day, and is most likely to think through outcomes in order to make an informed decision. She wants to bless you with her effort to understand what would really please you.
Bethany: showered Daddy with gifts. She spent hours over the past several days writing stories, drawing pictures, and designing a host of "wrap-ables" for the number one man in her life. Her effort to show how special he is to her came through with crystal clarity. They weren't big gifts, or expensive presents, but often it is the hand-picked bouquet, or personal note that tells people that they mean enough for us to use our time.
Caleb: prayed for Daddy before dinner thanking God for the good job he did of helping to present our church's Sunday morning sermon today (our head pastor was out of town, and three elders stepped up to fill his shoes - Christopher being one of them). He praised his father for the good work he accomplished. Caleb values words that encourage and edify, often choosing to ask us how we are doing, or tell us what great people we are out of the blue. He appreciates the need to be told, verbally, that you are special.
Leah: came downstairs after nap and stayed quiet! She recognized Daddy's hard work in preparing for the sermon, and blessed him by remembering that if she remained quiet he could get a good nap himself. She grows in her sensitivity to others, and generously gives from her heart. She may not always get it right, but can't we all appreciate that the thought can sometimes be more crucial than the execution?
Mary: simply wanted her daddy to hold her, and give her hugs. At 2 and a half she loves her daddy with an unspoiled, and uncomplicated affection. We drove to church in separate vehicles this morning so when service was over, and we were preparing to leave in those separate cars, she become nearly hysterical that Daddy was not coming with us. It is nice to be needed.
Josiah: fell asleep in his father's arms, being gently rocked by this wonderful man. His face lights up when Daddy comes home. His beautiful smile brightens anyone's day, but it is an especially poignant balm after a day of meetings, and politics in the corporate world. Sometimes you just need a small reminder that life really isn't all about greed, the corporate ladder, promotions, or getting ahead.
In myriad ways our children tell us how much they love us each day. We don't really need days like Father's Day, or Mother's Day to tell us of their love. But I think remembrance is important, and the ceremony of honoring those that we love is a way of affirming their place in our lives. We all need to be loved (and told so), needed (and told so), accepted (and told so), honored (yep, and told so), and included (don't forget, and told so). Today, in our special way as the Randall Family, we loved our one and only, Christopher.
(picture taken by Bethany)