Missing A Dad

Rufus G. Jasper, Dad
Rufus G. Jasper, Dad | Source

Written by the author while flying home for his dad's viewing and funeral. He read this as part of his dad's funeral service, and then blessed his grave.

Define a dad!

Yes, define a dad!

When you do, you won't define every dad.

More than likely, you'll define one or two dads: the idealized dad, or a dad drawn from your own experience---very likely your own dad, or the dad you would have had except that something happened (or didn't happen.)

The ideal dad?

Perhaps mature, strong, loving, tender, talented, peaceful, deep at times, a kidder who knows when to stop, a guy you can talk quietly to without either of you saying a word, responsible, organized but flexible, calm in life's inevitable emergencies and daily challenges, a good listener, even-tempered, neat and clean with a relaxed way of looking good by a minimal effort, a man of obvious values he shares by example, a believer in truth and consequences, well-read but not always reading, a man to whom TV is a kaleidoscope to be pondered from time to time, someone at home in the outdoors and at home, a traditionalist always open to more lasting traditions, and a friend you and others are safe with and admire.

Your own dad?

You have already said a mental "Yes" or "No" to some of those qualities, for we all measure our dads or adore them.

Boys grow beside their dads as age matters less and less, and shoot on by them as age matters too much, then slow to their dad's orbit as the familiar becomes more dear, the past more clear, and the future more "iffy" for you both.

Girls grow beside their dads while age still matters, and look for future relationships with a person even more like their dad could have been---until wisdom gives dad credit for what he succeeded in being to all concerned.

Few dads hear the accolades of "he's the best dad" "he's the right dad for me," or "I couldn't have asked for a better dad."

Perhaps too few, for perhaps you might agree with some sons and daughters who believe "we chose him, he didn't choose us."

Dads can choose what we see and hear; they can't choose what we perceive, what we comprehend.

Father's Day (like Mother's Day) is an every day thing: food for man/meals for food, tender discipline/discipline tendered, wins and losses, bad times and good, wishes and reality.

For most (dads included) life offers one long chance to succeed, measured by short but significant successes and failings. The measure of a life is twofold: how far you get in mastering life and how little you let life master you.

Mom is a hallowed title whenever and wherever a mom is a mother. Dad is no less hallowed whenever and wherever dad is a father who cares, and who does his best at keeping his head above water with a reassuring smile on his face.

If your "ideal dad" and "real dad" have some differences, and other dads seem to fit the ideal better, remember how much you have always wanted dad to see you for who you really are, and try seeing him for who he really is, given his burdens and joys.

My own dad is gone from sight, except in my mind's eye. I still see his successes and failings. I may never fully know his burdens and joys, any more than he could ever have known all of mine.

I believe a time will come when that can be possible but far less important than it seems now.

A dad is missing, and a dad is missed.

_______

Copyright 1998 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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Comments 14 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. I feel I was the dad I never had. But in the end. life got in the way.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Beautiful and heartfelt tribute to great dads everywhere.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I feel like I had a wonderful dad. I miss him, but will always remember how blessed my entire family was.


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 3 years ago from New York, NY

Sorry for your loss, Persyps. You wrote "Girls grow beside their dads while age still matters, and look for future relationships with a person even more like their dad could have been---until wisdom gives dad credit for what he succeeded in being to all concerned." How many times do you see the teenager bringing home the complete opposite of her father almost just to rile him? Ultimately she surrenders, or most do, and marries the one who possesses the good or bad qualities of her dad. Your last statement that reads, "I believe a time will come when that can be possible but far less important than it seems now" is when all is revealed about the inward self, and I agree wholeheartedly on that. God bless.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

No, I grew up with both of my parents. They died in 1999 ( my mother) and 2001 ( my father). I miss them, but was blessed to have them in my life. I am 48, so having them while growing up was a wonderful gift from God.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

We each have or had a dad. Sometimes with a large "D" and (sadly) sometimes with a small "d". Which it is can make a big difference in children's lives, kudos to the dads who try, and halos to the Dads who succeed.


eHealer profile image

eHealer 3 years ago from Las Vegas

Perspycacious, I am so Sorry for the loss of your dad. It is wonderful that you had such a great relationship with him and indeed will miss this important man. It is a great tribute to your father, friend, and mentor.

Sincerely

Deborah


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Wonderful tribute. My dad passed many years ago. He taught me so much in the 23 years I had him. A father who is a dad can't be replaced. Sincere condolences.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

There is not a moment that goes by that I don't miss my Dad. I had him for 18 years and he gave me so much in every way. Your words moved me and they are a wonderful tribute to the love only a Dad can give. Voted up and awesome.


wicle 3 years ago

These insights into fathers show reason for your pseudonym, "Perspycacious'.

I suppose there is a time in every child's life when they face the challenge of forgiving their Dad (or Mom) for some of the things they did to raise them.

The onus is not only on the parent, but also on the child. The perfect relationship is a miraculous work in progress. Thank You!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Thanks for all the thoughtful answers to this Hub.


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

It is tough being a person, not even to consider being a Mom or Dad. Some great thoughts.


rdsparrowriter profile image

rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

I miss my father too sometimes .. he had his weaknesses, but he did what he can do in little ways while he was fighting to live through depression .. but he's the best one and I practically ends up getting close to those who reminds me of my dad ... this is a wonderful thought .. God bless you!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

I have five children and 17 grandchildren (no Great Grandchildren yet.) Trying to be "just the right Dad" to each of them is a very real challenge. Sadly, at times I have failed miserably at being the Dad that child needed at every moment. Happily there have been all the other times. The first step to being a real Dad, is to be a real mate to the child's/children's Mom.

I wish every dad success at being such a Dad and mate.

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