This Sunday is Father’s Day. For those of you who no longer have your dad with you, or maybe never knew him, you have my respect and condolences. I lost my mother 10 years ago, so I have some small idea how this day might feel to you. May Sunday, and these days leading up to it, be filled with good memories and recounted blessings from your Heavenly Father.
This morning I signed the Father’s Day card to my dad. I didn’t buy a serious one, just an amusing little cartoon of a stereotypical dad asleep in his comfy chair and a quip to go with it. Some years I’m moved to write a few serious words expressing my deep gratitude to God for my dad. This year I kept it short and sweet. Thankfully, my father and I are good friends, so there’s nothing I would write that he doesn’t already know–and that in itself is something to be thankful for.
The only problem with writing the card this year is that it was over too quickly. I sat down at the kitchen table, slid the card over, wrote a little something, and slid it back to its envelope so I could mail it. I thought about it, but I didn’t think about it. It was, for me, another year and another Father’s Day card. I’ve done this since I learned to how to scribble my name as a boy–35+ years of Father’s Day cards come and gone. Get Father’s Day card in the mail (on-time!) to Dad…Check.
My dad turned 80 last November. (Read my ode to him at SBCVoices.com here.) Realistically, I’ve signed and sent more Father’s Day cards in the past than I will in the future. Not to sound cold, it’s just a statistical fact. It’s a very important fact though.
On one hand, I’m thankful that my dad and I get along so well that if I either of us passed from this world today, nothing would be left unsaid. That is a huge comfort, I think, to both of us. It’s a privilege from God, really. Yet, how quickly I wrote out the card today shows the danger of familiarity. Telling my father how much I love and appreciate him should never be a “been there, done that” triviality. Take time to stop and smell the Father’s Day card.
At the same time, it’s not just dad who deserves special treatment (and not just once a year). Yesterday I watched on TV as an expert handled unique artwork and a pocket-watch with white linen gloves because of their extra-special value. These were rare and unreplaceable; they deserved special treatment. All of us can learn a lesson from that. We should be so careful in our handling of the lives and relationships around us–like our spouses, family, friends, coworkers, even strangers–which are infinitely more valuable.