Father’s Day is a little harder for me these days, because both my dad, Allen Spencer and my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg are in Heaven now. I think in many ways, my mind, in an effort to protect me from sad feelings, simply refuses to wrap itself around the coming day, and then suddenly the night before, I realize that there are three other dads in my life. While they are not my dads, they are my children’s dad, and my grandchildren’s dads. And they are good dads…every one of them. When I look at the job they did being dads to those kids, each one staying with the family through the good and the bad times, I realize just how very blessed my children, grandchildren, and I have been. In our families, and in the families that Bob and I grew up in, there were no absentee dads and no deadbeat dads, there was simply Dad…the man who was always there for us…not matter what we needed, no matter what mistakes we made, and no matter how messed up we were at times in our lives. When they signed on as dads, they meant it. They signed on for life, and they made our lives wonderful in every way. Sometimes, I wonder just what I did to deserve such a great blessing, and then I remember that blessings are very seldom deserved…they are a gift. Every day, and in every way, these men in my life are such a great blessing to me and to my family.
While my dad and my father-in-law are in Heaven now, I can honestly say that the lessons they both taught each of us…their children, children-in-law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are lessons that will guide us skillfully through the trying times that every life must go through. Of course, I wish they were still here, because the longer I live on this Earth, the more questions I seem to have. My questions about how to handle things in life have largely been answered now, because they were good dads, but my questions about the past have not. Questions about the war, grandparents, great grandparents, and family history are still out there, many of them completely unanswered, and I have no way to get them answered now. There are so many stories I haven’t heard, and so much information I don’t have…and now I have no way to ever find out. I think about how much I miss them now, and it makes my heart sad.
For the rest of the dads in my life, today is a day to celebrate, and to be thankful that we have them in our lives. I am thankful for each of these men, because they have been wonderful dads. They have passed on to their children, all the wisdom, knowledge, and common sense that they have, along with the humor needed to get through any life. Their laughter has enriched our lives so much. If we can give back even a fraction of the blessing they have given to us, then we have accomplished great things. Happy Father’s Day to the dads in my life. I hope you all have a wonderful day.