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The Father I Never Knew But Always Loved

Updated on May 24, 2017
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, specializes in women's issues. That includes appreciating and empowering the men in their lives.

There are no photographs of my father, but in my mind he stands tall, light brown and handsome. There are no tape recordings of his voice, but I have often listened to his intelligent and humorous speech. Thanks to the positive mental portraits my family members helped me paint.

He Stands Tall

Photo by TPorter2006
Photo by TPorter2006 | Source

Perhaps the greater impact on a child’s attitude and behavior is the child’s love and respect for the father rather than the father’s presence or absence. This is not a suggestion to create fanciful, heroic tales about deadbeat dads, but an appeal to consider the child’s need to respect fatherhood.

We all know the family in which the father’s presence hardly makes a difference. Eventually, it’s what the children think about him that makes them decide whether or not they can be proud to call him father. Except in the unfortunate situation where a child was conceived by an unknown rapist, the child deserves to hear something positive about the father.

The statistics presented by SPARC suggest (among other situations) that children from fatherless homes are:

20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
9 times more likely to drop out of school
20 times more likely to end up in prison

Is it possible that there could be some damage control if the children were taught to forgive their fathers and to love and respect them for whatever measure of good there was in them? Below are five of my father's valuable lifetime gifts to me.


(1) 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 he told me only positive things about the deceased. However, years earlier when he comforted my father’s siblings, he told them that my father had a certain character weakness that might have ruined his life had he lived longer.

The pastor’s opinion may or may not be true. It doesn’t matter. My father’s family took comfort in the thought that death might have relieved him from self-destruction. By the time they explained it to me, my pride in having him for a father was already established. My compassion and forgiveness overpowered any negative feeling which might have surfaced had I not already developed love and respect for him.

Knowledge of my father's imperfection reminds me to add some humanity to the image in my mind; and it doesn't prevent me from dwelling on the life-enriching treasures that he left me. I take pride in knowing that he was my father.



(2) 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 credit my father for a lifetime of love.

Caribbean Family Cruise

My father's sister, her children, her grandchildren, one other niece and I cruised on the Caribbean Princess.  Here we are in port in St.Thomas, Virgin Islands.
My father's sister, her children, her grandchildren, one other niece and I cruised on the Caribbean Princess. Here we are in port in St.Thomas, Virgin Islands. | Source

(3) Humor

Among the stories my grandmother told was the one about her attempts to discipline my father. She was utterly afraid of having her feet get wet in her shoes. He would always position himself near a bucket of water or have a tumbler in his hand when she got ready to spank him. He delayed many a spanking (back in the day when it was acceptable) by distracting her that way.

“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.

Still, on may occasions family members would respond to my humorous dry wit with, "Just like your father."


(3) Legacy of Kindness

My first job after college, was teaching school on a Caribbean island – other than my native island. One of the school board members was exceptionally kind to me. Among other things, he supplied me regularly with local fruits and vegetables..

During the last week of my two-year assignment, he told me the story of his friendship with a young man from my island who shared the same last name as mine. The man had been very hospitable to him when he vacationed on the island, and he had promised to return the kindness, but the man died.

“But you did fulfill your promise to him,” I told him, “by the kindness you showed to his daughter.”

“I could never live with myself,” the man told me, “if I had treated you any differently.”

Providence had arranged for me to reap the fruit of my father’s kindness.


(4) Legacy of Faith

My Dad Would Be Proud Of Me

Making my father's faith my own.
Making my father's faith my own. | Source

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 about the faith of my father.


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 Isaac Weithers

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    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 14 months 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 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 2 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 2 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 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes true MsDora!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 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 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

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

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 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 4 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 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 4 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

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

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      chaplainpat 4 years ago

      Well written and very encouraging.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 5 years ago

      It's wonderful :)God bless You!!

    • Sheila Kennedy profile image

      Sheila Kennedy 6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 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 6 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 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 6 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      You got it, justme. Thanks for the affirmation.

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      justme 6 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • SUSIE42 profile image

      SUSIE42 6 years ago

      A beautiful story. Hits home for me.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

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

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      thelma e niles 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 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.

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      Delores R Waters 6 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 image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

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

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      Arthur 6 years ago

      Exceptional article, well written a deep and moving tribute.

    • profile image

      Rnyakunid 6 years ago

      Wow that is deep!!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 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.