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Lifetime Gifts Some Absent Fathers Leave Behind

Updated on May 22, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and promotes the significance of men in their lives.

There are no photographs of my father, but in my mind he stands tall, light brown and handsome. He is an image of love and authority. He died when I was still too young to remember him, but thanks to my family members, they made me aware of the lifetime gifts he left me.

Father's Image Is a Gift to the Child

Photo by TPorter2006
Photo by TPorter2006 | Source

We all know families in which the father’s presence hardly makes a difference. He is absent often or always; and if he ever comes, he does not connect emotionally. Eventually, it’s what the children think about him (based on what they hear family members say about him) that makes them decide whether or not they can be proud to call him father.

Every child deserves to hear something positive about the father, even if he is serving a life sentence in prison. If the children were taught to forgive their fathers and to love and respect them for whatever measure of good there was in them, they would be free to accept that, in some way, he contributed to their lives.

Life, pride, family support, character qualities and faith are some of the lifetime gifts which many fathers leave for the children.

(1) Life

The gift of life is the prerequisite for receiving all other gifts and it cannot happen without a father. After thanks to God, it is thanks to the mother and father whether or not they are responsible parents. The gift of life should inspire gratitude for as long as it lasts.

Submitted by Timfly
Submitted by Timfly | Source

(2) Pride

My father died in a motor vehicle accident in his early twenties. As an adult, I was privileged to meet the pastor who presided at my father’s funeral. The pastor seemed happy to meet his friend’s baby all grown up, and at first, he told me only positive things about the deceased.

Later on, the pastor shared something negative, but by that time, my family members had already influenced my pride in having him for a father. My compassion and forgiveness overpowered any negative feeling which might have surfaced had they not already taught me to love and respect him.

It is important for the children to learn some positives about their father, regardless of the reason for his absence. Making them proud of their father enhances their own self-worth. Knowledge of their father's imperfection can simply be evidence of his humanity, not a reason to erase their pride in having him as a father. That pride can produce lifetime benefits.

(3) Family Support

My father's siblings supplemented my mother’s efforts to meet my needs. I looked forward to spending time with them. My cousins satisfied my need for siblings. When my aunts migrated to foreign countries, I received countless packages. They sent me foreign currency all through my high school years.

On her eightieth birthday, his only remaining sister invited me to cruise the Caribbean with her, her children and grandchildren. Talk about a sense of family, of love, of belonging! I always had that.

Even after the father leaves, the children can enjoy a sense of family, especially if his relatives view their support as an inherited gift for the children.

(4) Character Qualities

Photo by Agnieszka Gulczyńska
Photo by Agnieszka Gulczyńska | Source

“Let me see if you’re as smart as your father,” the village postman used to tell me, and I’d have to come up with a joke. I think he laughed not because I was funny, but because he was thinking of my father.

My father left a reputation of being funny. He eluded his mother's spanking (back in the day when it was an acceptable form of discipline) by making her laugh. Still, on many occasions family members would respond to my humorous dry wit with, "Just like your father." The thought of my father being a comic, makes me think that I have the gift to be one too, when I choose.

Other fathers may leave a legacy of other positive qualities: always cheerful, always always singing, the leader, always generous or sympathetic. There must be at least one good quality that someone remembers about him. If the child shows any tendency of imitating his father, he will appreciate the gift from his character source whenever someone says, "You remind me of your father." Even if the child does not seem to imitate that quality, tell the story and let the child know it's in his DNA.

(5) Legacy of Faith

My father’s loyalty to his religious conviction is mentioned in the book written to commemorate his church’s fiftieth anniversary. He refused to work on the Bible Sabbath after he learned that God expected him to spend the day in worship. My father had made an impact on his peers and fellow workers when his faith was tested in his youth.

His loyalty to the faith he embraced is his legacy to me. He left me some direction for my spirituality. So on Father’s Day when the congregation sings:“Faith of Our Fathers living still,” I sing with pride about the faith of my father, and thank him for passing this gift to me.

If a father leaves a legacy of faith, even if it is not the faith the storyteller prefers, still let the child know that the father subscribed to a supernatural power which was important to him. If the father embraced faith, the child can be more easily encouraged to follow in his steps.

(If the father did not leave a legacy of faith, teach stories of divine protection, provision and deliverance which is available even in the father's absence.)

Remember

Family members can effectively influence the children’s attitude by telling positive stories about the father. To tear him down is to feed them hostility and tear down their self-worth. To teach love and respect for him is to teach love and respect for themselves - and for the life he helped to give them.

© 2011 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mona, you're very kind. Thank you for that encouraging comment.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      Dear Ms. Dora, you have a beautiful mind and heart. Everything about you is beautiful. This is a beautiful article that touches the heart so deeply.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sherry, thanks for that sweet comment. Yes, I feel like I knew my father, and his mother and siblings are mostly responsible for that.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It sounds like you dad had a real presence in your life, even though he was gone. It's too bad that every fatherless child does not have that.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Paula, you made my day! Thanks a million for your encouragement.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ms. Dora......This tribute to your precious Dad and the beautiful love you nurtured for him, has made my heart sing. I could relive my own life with my beloved Dad whom I have not been able to talk with in decades. But I can hear his voice and remember his many words of wisdom....

      This is a portrait of pure love and devotion which you have artfully painted for your father. He is SO proud of you, Ms. Dora......and so am I.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Laura, good observation and good suggestion! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 

      3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Great Hub! It's inspiring to see how you are able to use the memories of others to create your own. We can all do this with relatives that we never knew.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes true MsDora!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, AJ. He's special although I have no physical memory of him; but all fathers are special.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Beautiful ode to your father and all fathers MsDora! :o)

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Rajan on behalf of my father, my family and myself. Family really influences its members more than some know.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What a glorious tribute this is. Your father might have had a flaw which you make a mention about; as humans we all have, but there are so many positive things about him that has so enriched your life. The role your family played in contributing to this feel good factor is really commendable.

      Your hub is a great lesson in more ways than one.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ytsenoh, your comment really encourages me. Every child needs to think well about her parents; and other family members can help to portray the parents kindly. My grandparents and my father's siblings did that. Many thanks to them.

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 

      5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      MsDora, very kind hub. I think a message you also deliver in this both bittersweet and uplifting writing is the value of being civil, but mostly looking for that silver lining of positive attributes. My father never knew his real father and he carried that with him all his life. I can't imagine what a child goes through, so I like the way you present your experience and still come out holding something positive. Thanks for your advice here.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Chaplain. just re-read it and it encouraged me too

    • profile image

      chaplainpat 

      5 years ago

      Well written and very encouraging.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for reading and commenting, rdsparrowriter. God bless you too!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 

      6 years ago

      It's wonderful :)God bless You!!

    • Sheila Kennedy profile image

      Sheila Kennedy 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Cousin Sylvia, you also brought tears to my eyes. I've got the best "father's side" family. I love you too, and all the rest of the family.

    • profile image

      Cousin Sylvia 

      7 years ago

      I am so deeply impressed to know you are speaking about my dear Uncle Elridge, and how you feel about us all. He was my closest uncle even though when I was very

      young, he made me do home work, and go to Sabbath school, when all of my friends were playing. You will never know how much I miss him, and what a great impression he made to my life, you have brought tears to my eyes when I read this, and how you have placed the words in just the right order. I hope everyone who read this will feel the same way as I do, to know God forgives us with all our faults and flaws, so who are we not to forgive our father the same way. God bless you, I love you my dear cousin.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ah Billie! Sorry that you never got to know your dad, and that you feel lonesome now. If you reach out to some of the younger relatives and love them like your aunt and uncles loved you, that might help. Share some of your happy memories with the younger ones. They like stories and they will like you for telling them.

    • profile image

      Billie Carpenter 

      7 years ago

      My father,at 21,died at Fort Leris WA. May 30 1937.

      I was born in the Tacoma General Hospital Aug,1937.

      My mom was 18; my Gram had me most of the 1st 7 years.

      My Aunt and 2 Uncles loved my father as ther own. They were to me,as my siblings. Mom and her new husbond moved out of state when I was almost 8. I still find my self lonsome, for no semingly no good reasion.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      You got it, justme. Thanks for the affirmation.

    • profile image

      justme 

      7 years ago

      i read the article and i will definitely follow your example and speak positively to my children about their dad or any adult for that matter.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Susie42. Pleasant memories to you and family throughout the weekend!

    • SUSIE42 profile image

      SUSIE42 

      7 years ago

      A beautiful story. Hits home for me.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Sister Niles. I bet the good times you shared with your Dad contributed to the sweet, gracious person you have become.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Glynda. I'd like to see you on HubPages too.

    • profile image

      thelma e niles 

      7 years ago

      Dearest Dora,I enjoyed your story about your Father'I have also very good child hood memories of my Dad and the love we shared with him.

    • profile image

      Glynda Dais 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for being you! Your writing is so refreshing!!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Delores, hope you and your daughters have found a way to prolong the happy memories of the good times you shared with him.

    • profile image

      Delores R Waters 

      7 years ago

      Dora, thanks for sharing your heartfelt tribute to your father. It is too easy to waste time thinking of the negative, for all the good it does.

      I will share this with my daughters who lost their Dad several years ago.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Arthur and Rnyakunid. Hope you too have some pleasant fathers day experiences or memories.

    • profile image

      Arthur 

      7 years ago

      Exceptional article, well written a deep and moving tribute.

    • profile image

      Rnyakunid 

      7 years ago

      Wow that is deep!!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, PegCole17. You're always so encouraging and supportive. I appreciate you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I love the positive way in which you've paid tribute to your Father whose presence can still be felt in your words, though he is gone. Beautifully expressed.

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