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The Importance of Fathers

Updated on August 5, 2016
  • Originally published July 27, 2011

I was at the funeral of a friend’s husband recently and I had a moment of ultimate gratitude and realization. This man was not just an ordinary man. He, most importantly was someone’s father. Though I barely knew him, I cried and cried. Even continued to cry once I got home. Just thinking of him, made me think of my own dad and his mortality….

Growing up, I didn’t realize how important my father was. I should have seen it after all it was he who stayed home with his two girls while his wife worked. His discipline was strong and as a child, I thought of it as cruel, but I have an even higher respect for it now than I did then. My father was the heart of our home. He took care of us. I never imagined I would one day have to take care of him.

Me and my main man...All 4 pounds and 12 ounces of me. June 1988
Me and my main man...All 4 pounds and 12 ounces of me. June 1988
Daddy's girls. 1990
Daddy's girls. 1990
Dad, today
Dad, today

On the very first day of 2000, my father had a stroke. I was eleven years old, my sister nine. The image of my father pulling himself across the floor of our home is forever embedded in my memory. Mom asked us to stay in our room, but I remember peeking out the door, terrified, not knowing what was happening. My grandparents came to take him to the hospital but knew there was no way they alone could get him in the car. I listened as Grandpa told the 911 dispatcher, "Yes, I believe my son has had a stroke." My sister and I huddled together in our small bedroom. I could hear a paramedic scolding my mom. "You work in the medical field and you didn't call sooner?" I couldn't blame my mother. My dad is a stubborn man. He calls the shots. Minutes passed and as I heard the sirens take off and go into the distance, I knew this was for real. We spent the night at my brother's New Year's night. I didn't sleep til I heard the call that my dad would be okay.

The very next day, my sister and I went to see him in the hospital. I'll never forget seeing my father, the rock, the man, my hero, lying in bed, tears in his eyes as he saw his girls. I clutched his hand. "I love you," I choked out. He tried to be strong. "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere." No one, not even he, knew if he was right at the time.

The following months after my dad's stroke consisted of serious life changing moments. A man who now had to be taken care of like a baby because he had to learn to walk again. A man we helped dress, feed, and just care for day after day. Since his stroke eleven years ago, my father has endured more pain and suffering than anyone should ever have to endure or witness. Dad is a diabetic, and dialysis patient. His kidneys began shutting down in 2003, finally giving up all together in January 2009. The things I saw as a child are things no child should ever have to witness, but because of the love from his wife and us kids, he is still here today. That morning in 2000 changed us as a family forever.

Every time I see my father, I tell him I love him. Every time I see my father I hug him. Every time I see my father I kiss him. The role of the father is an enormously influential part of a child's upbringing. After the viewing for my friend's husband, all I wanted to do was go home and tell my dad how important he was to me. The truth of the matter is, I know, he already knows.

Update: My father lost his long fought battle with kidney disease on March 1, 2016.

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    • Kimberly D King profile image
      Author

      Kimberly D King 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thank you, I am very lucky to still have him!

    • Summer Said profile image

      Summer Said 6 years ago from Fort Lauderdale for the moment

      Yes Kimberly, fathers are extremely important in a child's life. My father also lost his life to all of the complications associated with diabetes; kidney failure dialysis, macular degeneration, neuropathy, congestive heart failure. The list goes on. It was brutal to watch him suffer for 15 years. I cherish his love. A beautiful piece you have written.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      That is great, IDK why I was thinking that.

      It is a beautiful hub

    • Kimberly D King profile image
      Author

      Kimberly D King 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thank you :)

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Heart touching article.Both mother and father are important for kids.

    • Kimberly D King profile image
      Author

      Kimberly D King 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thank you Manthy...but my father is not dead, ha. It was a tribute to him and all he's been through, and how he is STILL here after it all..lol thank you though!

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      I gave you a link in my last hub asking y readers to read this

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      This hub has touched my heart, I am sorry for your loss.

      I gave it a up and beautiful. It is a nice tribute for your father.

    • Kimberly D King profile image
      Author

      Kimberly D King 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thank you very much :)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      My Dad was not the easiest person to get along with. Who knows why he was that way but if we were sick he was the one that stayed up and kept an eye on us.

      Good story about your Dad. Enjoyed your hub.

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