A SECOND OPINION: FATHER’S DAY IN THE USA

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“The thing to remember about fathers is that they gave you more than you can
ever give back to them,especially your genes and peculiarities!”

By Mary Foran

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” The Cemetery was peaceful and serene, and people came and went with flowers and prayers for their deceased loved ones, some buried with imposing headstones, some in niches which either they or their families had picked out for them. The Sign of the Cross was evident, and the love of the families who came to pay their respects was too.

The tradition in the States is to pick out a Father’s Day Card, especially funny or sentimental, or filled with good wishes and blessings. But this year, who would have read, and saved, the card?

The absence of a Father, who’s very name you bear, is truly felt, especially one who had a wry sense of humor, and always tried to be the Authoritarian, but was a “softie” at heart.

Fathers have a hard time of it, expected to be all things to everyone in the family; expected to be both strong and gentle at the same time. Strong for their wife, strong for their children, strong for their working life, strong for their Organizations and Companies, strong for their Churches and Countries.

To be a father can take a man by surprise. It can elevate his life, or , in some men’s opinions, ruin it.

Once you have children, your night’s sleep is shattered, and the tensions mount. But most men take it on the chin and deal with it just fine.

Watching fathers, mothers and children paying their respects to the deceased was peace-inspiring, because after all is said and done, we’re lucky enough to know that life goes on in us.

Of course, people who still have their fathers may think them just old and crotchety people, but the thing to remember if you are still young enough to have them in this world is that they gave you more than you can ever give back to them, especially your genes and peculiarities! They and your mothers made you unique, an original being. Now, of course, science can clone and do all sorts of magic to your chromosomes and fiddle with your DNA, but the average Joe becomes a father in the average way.

Family hike on Father’s Day, Shotgun Creek, Oregon

Some have never known their fathers. Some fathers have never known their children. And some fathers, who thought they knew their children, are disappointed in what their children turned out to be.

But those are the fractured families. What I was able to see today were the healthy, loving families who respect each other enough to have a day of remembrance, and also a happy holiday.

Speaking of Romance (were we?),many of the visitors were  international families, which GUIDEPOST knows so well.

Here’s to the loving fathers of the land, sea and sky; your fathers, wherever they may be.

Happy belated Father’s Day!

———-

Images
Featured image/Deb Nystrom CC BY2.0
Cemetery/Bart Everson CC BY2.0


About Mary
Born in Seattle, WA, U.S.A., and a graduate of the University of Oregon in Spanish and General Literature, Mary lived in Madrid, Spain during the 80s, a period in Spanish history which became known as “The Transition”. She taught English as a Foreign Language, and worked as Managing Editor of the Guidepost when it was still a weekly print publication. She did a stint on Spanish Foreign Radio and Radio Cadena, and corresponded for a Financial Times of London newsletter. She still has ties to Spain, loves the people and the country, and has great hopes for the future!