This Sunday is Father’s Day and the subject of fathers is one that is incredibly near and dear to my heart today for several reasons. One of those reasons is that my father-in-law is struggling still. He had his surgery last week but the nerve and muscle pain down his leg still hasn’t let up and he’s still unable to walk. He still isn’t sleeping at night and he’s still hurting like crazy. For a Father’s Day gift I wish so badly that I could wave a magic wand and make all of his pains go away so he could be back to himself again. Both for his sake as well as for my husband Rollin’s sake as it pains him to see his father in such extensive pain. And that leads me to the next reason Father’s Day is near to my heart today:
I’d been a single mom for many years when I met Rollin. Not only did he choose to love and marry me almost 12 years ago, he chose to love and be a father to my two children as well. And he didn’t just become their father by role, he also chose to adopt my two kids. He’s been their Father in every way – from running them to school and back; coming to support them at every practice, sporting event, concert, or play; creating chores for them to help the gain an appreciation for hard work; listening to their problems and offering advice; and letting them feel the unconditional love of having a Father…he’s amazing in so many ways and my kids feel incredibly blessed to have him as their Dad. And getting to watch what a phenomenal grandfather he is has been another great blessing in my life.
The final reason Father’s Day is near to my heart today is because earlier today I had the privilege of getting one-on-one time with my own Father. I hadn’t planned to see my Dad today, but with all the stresses I’ve had the last few weeks I had decided I needed to find a way to re-center myself so I drove over to the Temple to spend some quiet time in prayer. As I sat in the chapel of the Temple I was surprised to see my Father come walking in the door. Neither he nor I knew the other was going to be there today. Some may call that a coincidence, but I don’t believe in coincidences, so I’d call it a tender mercy. My Father and I were able to spend the two hours together in that sacred and holy place and that is a memory I am going to treasure forever.
My Dad is my hero. And next to my husband he is my best friend. He has been my rock and he has seen me through the hardest times of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better answer to prayer than to have him by my side today. It was exactly what I needed. How blessed all of us are to have a Heavenly Father that loves us. And how extra blessed I am to have an incredible earthly Father as well who has taught me all those things my Heavenly Father would want me to know.
To anyone who has questioned if fathers are important the answer is – YES!!! The love and influence of a good father is invaluable, both to a child and to the Mother of that child. Fathers truly are amazing and as we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend may we all take time to tell our fathers and grandfathers and all the other good men who have played a role in influencing our lives for the better, “THANK YOU!”
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel In Business & Life”