Today we celebrate Father’s Day after sending or giving cards to our Fathers who are living and we remember in prayer those who have died. Families may go to Mass with their dads, treating them to breakfast afterwards or enjoy a family BBQ later in the day.
According to the 2008 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica: Father’s Day,
in the United States, is a holiday (third Sunday in June) to honor fathers. Credit for
originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington,
whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their
mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to
a sermon on Mother’s Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday. It took two Presidents to finalize the day of this holiday on the US Calendar.
Each one of us can speak about our fathers or dads depending on the type of relationship we had or have with them. From my earliest memory, dad was always dad, even on Father’s Day. I don’t remember getting dad a gift to honor him, certainly not a necktie, but more than likely we had a BBQ on those warm Sunday afternoons accompanied by a ripe juicy watermelon, a favorite summer dessert. Our dad made sure that each one of us learned how to ride a bicycle when we were big enough, first starting with a tricycle or a two wheeler with training wheels. Remember training wheels. At age 4 and 5, when my brother and I graduated to 20 inch wheeled bicycles, dad re-furbished the solid rubber tire two wheeler for our younger brother, repainting the frame and fenders making it look brand new. Mom and dad didn’t have a lot of money to spend in those days. Mom often made some of our clothes and dad was inventive with some of the toys we played with besides the essential bat, glove and
I can honestly say our childhood in the 1950’s was a simpler time, only four channels on the black and white TV. Most of our play time was spent outside playing with the neighbor kids and the occasional neighborhood pot luck or BBQ where we lived.
Through it all, family was important to dad, still is, now that at age 96 he is in memory care. For Father’s Day, he will receive a card from me, possibly a phone a call and then a visit later in July, remembering all the times he made time for us in between his work on the flight-line as a Chief Master Sergeant (E-9).
Though he doesn’t remember many of those details and some of them are even fading for me, I’m sure my brothers and sister remember his love for us, making time for us, taking us on Sunday drives, playing board games, and teaching us how to play the card game: cribbage. He is, was and will be our dad. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!
Father Larry Hendel