Today is my dad's birthday. He is an incredible man with much to show for his years...a loving and beautiful wife, five children, twelve grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and several more on the way right now. He and Mom have established a home for themselves and their continually growing family in their small rural Kansas town. They have tons of extended family and they continue the heritage begun by Dad's parents...they actually live in the home my grandparents lived in and where most of Dad's upbringing happened.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a beautiful note on facebook entitled, "My Dad's Face." While it made me cry, it also made me count my blessings. The love expressed by her father echoed deep in my soul as I am grateful for those same expressions by my dad.
Some years ago, I gave Dad a gift of monthly letters for Father's Day; and of course, there is a special one to be written each June on Father's Day and each September for his birthday.
As I wrote his letter this morning, tears trickled down my face and placed a wet pattern of dots on my pink tee shirt. I was glad I was alone and could write (and cry) with abandon.
I have loved having a monthly opportunity to tell my Dad how much he means to me and I want to share part of what I wrote to him with the readers of the Four Sisters Farm blog...
so grateful to have you…so grateful to be able to send you a letter today to
say, “Happy Birthday!”…so grateful to have watched your face all these years to
see the love and concern you have expressed to your family…so grateful for each
smile and wink…so grateful for the contentment in just being alive…so grateful
for the times I have seen you surprised and pleased…so grateful for the delight
I’ve seen expressed over each pregnancy that has been announced, every baby that
has arrived, and all the ornery antics of all the little ones in our family.
I am also
grateful that I have seen love and acceptance in your face. I don’t recall ever seeing rejection…I know I
have disappointed you over the years but the main thing I’ve seen expressed has
not been disappointment even in my worst moments…it has been concern and love
that I’ve seen. What a blessing! Because of your expressions, I view God in
much the same way that I view you. I am
more secure in God’s love because of your love.
So today, I say "Happy Birthday to you!" I love you and I love your face!! I love everything about you and I thank our Heavenly Father for the gift he gave me (and all of us) when He gave you life.
My hope is that today, as a result of reading this blog you will have warm thoughts of your fathers...if they aren't/weren't as gracious as my dad, I pray that you will remember all the good things and let go of the things that are painful as you rest in the love of the Father who loves us all the best.