Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day

    For Christians, God the Father holds a vital importance  - the first person of the Blessed Trinity,creator of all,   in  the book of Genesis  the Lord tells Abraham he will be  father of many generations, and Americans refer to George Washington as the father of their country.

    The name father has always held a special significance.   One who is protector, provider,  role model, counselor, guide - one who disciplines , but also forgives; One who helps their children be the best they can be, and loves unconditionally.

     I was surprised to learn Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington  at the YMCA in 1910 , but wasn't until  1966 , President Lyndon  B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating  the third Sunday in June as Father's Day, and   wasn't until  six years later President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.  

     This Sunday as we commemorate Father's Day, I think of my own father, Ronald W. Cooney,  and   the positive way he has influenced my life.  I am his oldest child, in some ways you might say we have grown up together,  sharing the twists and turns of an unpaved road., marking our own way as we drove along. No matter my age, or what I was doing dad always encouraged my endeavor and told me I could succeed if I persevered , like he did when reaching out his hand to me when  I was still a toddler taking first steps off our front porch. I felt confident knowing he was there.

     Dad's motto is not to wallow in misery and past mistakes, but strive ahead and make the next day better. It's a motto that has served him well, and has been a good example for me.

     For writers of memoir,  stories about fathers are a wonderful avenue to pursue.

     Through the years many  books have been written extolling the virtues of fathers , including :

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. While the author tackles the topic of race relations,  she also depicts,  in an inspiring way the loving relationship between father and daughter.

Little House on the Praire. Laura Ingalls Wilder tells of the hardship of pioneer life while exploring the bond between the girls and their pa.

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby , the  1987   bestseller shares the authors tales of his life being the father of five.

    And one of my personal favorites, Life with Father by Clarence Day, Jr., first published in 1936.  I have read Day's account of   his exacting, humorous father more than once, and have watched the beautifully adapted movie staring William Powell  and Irene Dunn  several times. It is pure joy.

      In 2007 my dad gave me a book titled How to Write Poetry and inscribed it with many notations,  among them , 'To Kathy, my favorite poet" ( see what I mean about dad giving me encouragement ?)  Then he wrote :

I read in this book: "Sometimes a few beautiful  well-constructed lines are more powerful than any thousand page novel could possibly be."  So this book challenges you to always seek  the  "few beautiful well-constructed  lines."      My love, Dad


                Happy Father's Day, Dad ! With love and gratitude  from  your daughter, Kathy.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I only wish that I could of had that kind of relationship with my father. How proud your father must be of you! Having you as a daughter must make his Father's Day a very happy one. Thank you for writing this wonderful story. I so loved learning about the history of Father's Day!