A Father’s Day Message: My Promise to Dad

Years ago my grandmother passed away. It was an incredibly painful time for my father. His mother had been ill for some time and the pain she suffered with shingles was depressing. My father wasn’t planning to attend her funeral. She had prearranged for everything and she left behind instructions to be cremated.

“Her body won’t be there,” he told me. “I’m not going to go.”

It didn’t make sense to me so I pleaded with him. “Dad you must go, for yourself, for your sister and to say goodbye. If you’re not going to go, please give me the details so I can make arrangements to go.”

He turned the phone over to my mom. She told me how upset he was as he went to look up the information I requested.

“Oh there it is,” she said. “Now he’s crying.”

Seeing my dad cry

I had only seen my father cry on a few occasions. He was a man who took pride in his strength and great stature. He loved to laugh, but to shed a tear wasn’t his nature.

Now here he was facing incredible sorrow and I was pushing him to a breaking point. He returned to the phone conversation and said, “I’m going.”

It was all it took. He agreed to attend the funeral.

Source

Daddy's little girl

It was during this time that I learned a little more about my dad. He loved his mother intensely. His avoidance to attend her funeral was apprehension on facing his grief.

We drove over 400 miles to attend the funeral and my brother drove another 200 miles to meet us. It was a small reunion. Together we discussed our feelings and shared our grief.

As the ceremony ended, my brother broke down shedding tears of grief. We embraced and our pain was shared. My father took notice and came over.

He wrapped his big arms around his 2 adult children and we shed our tears. I remember the feeling of be his little girl again. Living under his protection and embraced by his love. It was an incredible moment that was about to shake my whole world.

I made a promise

Later that day, I decided to take the drive back home with my brother. His sadness was profound.

“Take care of him,” my father told me.

“I will dad, that’s why I’m here.” This became my promise to dad.

We hugged and said our goodbyes. When all of us arrived safely at home, I spoke to my father on the phone again. He was pleased that we were able to go and he wanted to know how my brother was doing. My dad was concerned.

“Tell him I’m proud of him,” he said.

“I will dad, I will.”

Lean on Me

Several weeks had passed and we were planning a family BBQ. My dad called me. “I’m sick. I have this cold, so let’s reschedule the BBQ for next weekend.”

“Ok dad. Do you need anything? I have a vaporizer I could bring you or something?” My words were to encourage him. I wanted him to know I would do anything for him. I made a promise to myself to go see him on Saturday.

On Tuesday, I was at work feeling ill. The office I worked in was stuffy. I felt I couldn’t breathe so I moved my work assignments to another floor. As the day progressed, I could feel I was getting worse. I decided to leave work a little early so I called my husband. “I’m coming home. I don’t feel very well.”

“Come home right away,” he told me. “I’ve been trying to reach you.”

“What happened?” I asked. I could tell in his voice something terrible had happened.

“Just come home. I’ll tell you when you get here.”

This worried me. On my drive home, I prayed. I prayed so hard, I envisioned Jesus Christ sitting in the passenger seat. It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon. The spring weather breezed fresh air into my car. I flipped the radio station and “Lean on Me” vibrated the speakers.

Bill Withers sang the song, but the message was from Jesus.

“Lean on me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” -Bill Withers


The Promise to Dad

I arrived home and my husband embraced me. “Your father died,” he said.

Reliving this story today has sent my head spinning. It's been 13 years but it seems like yesterday.

I had made a promise to dad to look after my brother and 3 weeks later, his passing changed my entire life.

For the next 12 years, I looked after my mom. I took that promise and placed it in my mother’s heart. When she lost her husband, she lost her best friend. When she lost the love of her life, I lost my dad. Both of our lives were about to change.

We spent days together weeping over his death. We spent moments together reliving our favorite times. We spent afternoons together watching his favorite movies.

My promise to dad said I would take care of mom.

“That’s why I’m here, dad.” I promised.

I prepared mom’s meals after her heart attack and strokes left her ailing. I assisted her in the bath when she was unable to be left alone. I did her weekly pill set ups so her medicines would make her feel better. I found her an assisted living facility when I could no longer care for her in my home.

I did these things not only because she was my mother, but because I loved her. And I made a promise.

For the next 12 years, I took that promise and placed it in my mother's heart.

A promise is a promise

In life we make promises we cannot keep, we make promises with no intention of keeping, and we make promises that we struggle to keep.

For a person’s word means a lot these days. To stay true to your word is to never give up. When discouragement beckons you and when everything appears difficult, a promise is a promise.

For everything happens in life for a reason.

Whether you use it to bless another, to stretch your faith, or to become the person God intended you to be, it is all part of the grand plan.

When you make a promise, make sure you will stand behind it. You just never know, someone’s life may be at stake.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

I miss you and love you dearly, I promised.

In honor of Father’s Day, in honor of the love I have for my dad, I wanted to share this story with my readers.

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

Yes, time is so short...we never know when it will be the last time we see and visit with a loved one? I was just thinking today, about how busy we get...and that we just need to schedule time in with those we care about. Otherwise, it seems we are always saying we should get-together and never do? Next thing you know they are moving, or something has happened and the time is there no longer:( Thanks for sharing your story, it is especially hard to loose the ones we love! Take Care...


sherrylou57 profile image

sherrylou57 5 years ago from Riverside

I know how you feel, it is very hard loosing your parents, and now I have lost my brother, and now my youngest sister is very ill. thank you for sharing your story and yes time is to short, so what ever anyone needs to say to their parents, tell them that you love them before they have to leave this earth!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Sorry for the loss of your Dad and Mom. This hub really tugged at my heart strings for your deep abiding love for both of them really shone through, and your struggle to keep your promise was admirable. I don't know if one fully gets over the loss of a parent. We adjust to the loss, learn to go on and take good care of our spouse and children, but somewhere deep in our soul we still long to see our parent one last time. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to your Dad. My own has been gone for 25 years but on special days like Father's Day, or the date of his birth and death (he died on his 55th birthday) thoughts of him are on the surface of consciousness, not in the background.

Adding the "Lean on Me" video to this hub was also very moving since you'd experienced that song as a message from Jesus meant to remind you to lean on him during your loss.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

gosh...i was in tears while reading this.

fFaithdream...I lost my dad last year from prostrate cancer and sometimes I dream as if he is alive. I wake up in the middle of the night all happy but, nah it was a dream.

Losing a parent is hard although, I have read so much about death is natural and it will come to all but, i guess attachment always tends to create sorrow.


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Thank you for your encouraging comments. Something pressed on my heart today to write this. Even as I read it, the memories become fresh.

Thank you heart4theword. Your comments are right on. We desire to make the time but sometimes life just gets in the way. To live as though you don't have tomorrow, changes everything. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you sherrylou, I appreciate you sharing your comments. I'm sorry to hear about your loss as well. Give your sister a big hug & huggs to you too.

Thank you happyboomernurse. BTW - loved the interview on HubWeekly. Congrats! Thanks for sharing your comments. Sorry for your loss as well. When you lose a parent, part of your childhood, a little of you dies inside. That song is very special to me as you mentioned.

Thank you Ruchira. You're very special. Sorry to hear about your dad. Father's day is difficult time maybe those dreams are a way to keep you from missing him. Sometimes those dreams for me give me a sense of peace. Thanks for sharing your comments.


Aamna Aamad profile image

Aamna Aamad 5 years ago from Pakistan

When somebody hugs my father,i feel he/she is holdind my whole world for a while.

You may have thought I didn't see,

Or that I hadn't heard,

Life lessons that you taught to me,

But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all,

And that we'd grow apart,

But Dad, I picked up everything,

It's written on my heart.

Without you, Dad, I wouldn't be

The woman I am today;

You built a strong foundation

No one can take away.

I've grown up with your values,

And I'm very glad I did;

So here's to you, dear father,

From your forever grateful kid.

great hub, voted up


lilian1 profile image

lilian1 5 years ago from Hertfordshire England

Thank you for sharing these your precious memories of your dear Dad hw would be very proud of having such a loving daughter ..


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

What a bitter sweet beautiful story. What a blessed daughter you are. A great testimony of how promises display and confirm great love.

I liked how you explained that you didn't just do it as obligation to the commitment but because you loved them.

Blessed by the read.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

A very touching read. Thank you for sharing this personal experience.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You are a loving and faithful daughter. Bless you!


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. While I wrote this from the heart it is like Spirit Whisperer said, a personal experience.

I believe when we tell our stories from our hearts, they impact others greatly.

For each of you that commented, I appreciate you and am encouraged.

To Aamna, your poem was touching & beautiful. Thank you.

To lilian, thank you I am proud to have had such great parents.

Tamarajo, thank you for your beautiful words. Bless you.

Spirit Whisperer, thank you so much for commenting. I know you didn't have to as I read your article. :) but I appreciate it.

And Hyphenbird, thank you. I am always blessed by your comments. Bless you.


Field-Of-Flowers profile image

Field-Of-Flowers 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

Hi FaithDream thank you so much for sharing this with us. I remember the struggle Grandma had at my Dad's funeral. At one point, I thought she was going to pass out from everything that was going on around her. Both my Dad, your Dad & Aunt MiMi loved her very much. We both lost great parents, but the hope is we will see them again someday. This is a great article. Thank you for doing all you did for your Mom & for keeping the promise with your Dad. You are a great lady & I commend you highly. I voted it up all the way!! Much love and God Bless You!! :-)


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Thank you Field of Flowers. You are inspiring and your words mean a lot. I miss my parents all the time. I long for the day I can see them again, in their perfect state. I know Jesus will share these stories with them for I did this all for them.

All my writing is dedicated to these wonderful parents who instilled in me love and gratitude. My dad always encouraged me to do the best I could and he never gave up on me. He was my great encourager. My mom taught me the valuable lessons of love. Her weaknesses became my strength and through all those years, she taught my heart how to give. So I've been blessed.

God Bless you cuz.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

So touching Faith, thank you for sharing such a personal and intimate part of your life! It makes me want to call my parents and give them both a big hug. They are in their 80's now and I try to see them as much as I can! Bless you my friend!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Just came across this. I took care of my dad and then mom so I understand your story. It was not easy but it was full of love and I would never have changed it. Beautiful write.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

Bless your loving heart! I send you many hugs as this year to celebrate our father's draws closer. I agree with you, that "a Promise is a promise". It is a sacred vow, that no matter what , we need to keep it. I am sure both of your parents and family, friends, are so proud to have you in their lives, and to have your loyality. What a beautiful written article. The song is perfect! great choice.

Shared, tweeted and Up +++. hugs! and Shalom


DoveFreexrolo 9 months ago

Wheoevr edits and publishes these articles really knows what theye doing.


DoveFreexrolo 8 months ago

Cannot wait to see what else you come up with, i really enjoyed it!

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