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Celebrating All the Dads I've Known and Loved

After my dad passed away, I felt a bit like an orphan.

At the time, my mom had already been gone for many years. Then when my dad went on to the Great Golf Clubhouse in Heaven, I found myself parentless for the first time. Luckily, I still had my father-in-law, who became like a second father to me. He was easy to love, a consummate gentleman, and a class act. True to his style, he lived with a profound sense of kindness and grace every day until he died at age 97.

Even though he was formerly a high-powered, New York City executive, he carried himself with deep compassion and care for all who crossed his path. He could recall names and details of people's lives with vast clarity - from his caregivers to neighbors and janitors. Even the names of friends' pets were not lost on him. Each time I prepared to say goodbye after visiting, he would grip my hands tightly and tell me how much he loved me. He never missed a moment to share how grateful he was to be part of my life. What a gift to be loved like that.

Now that he's gone, it would be natural to feel like an orphan again. But now I'm beginning to see the many fathers who nurtured me along the way. There was my neighbor, Rev. Robert Davis who gave me my first Bible and let me tag along with him to play tennis many Saturdays. There was Mr. Correll, my high school journalism teacher, who breathed life into my dreams of writing, and when necessary, encouraged me to break the rules. I was lucky enough to have many bosses who treated me as a well-cared-for daughter -- rescuing me when my car broke down on the way to work, safeguarding me against difficult clients, coaching me through job layoffs, and when I was without a job, reminding me of my best qualities.

I'm so grateful to have two earthly fathers who cared for me deeply. I recognize this is not everyone's experience. But more than having two dads and fatherly encouragers, I'm most thankful for my heavenly Father who will always cover me with His goodness. Even though people and things here on earth will almost always disappoint, we can count on our Father in Christ who will never let us down. He is always faithful.

What About You? Who Has Fathered You Well?

Whatever your father status - a dad here on earth, in heaven, far or near, my encouragement is to consider gratitude this Father's Day. More than that, I hope you count yourself blessed for all of those who fathered you in love, regardless if you call them dad.

Seeing the bigger vision, we can't help but see how our lives have been shaped by the hands of a Father who adores us.


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Love reading this, Cara. I was also blessed with a father-in-law who cared for me as his own.

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