Ronald, from the minute the first pregnancy test was positive – you embraced fatherhood wholeheartedly. After waiting 34 years to become a parent, you relished every second of the experience. You could change a diaper like a pro, extract man-sized burps from small infants, and sooth them to sleep with your lullabies.
As our little ones grew, you told them stories of your childhood, planted vegetable gardens together, and shared your love of fishing – while patiently untangling miles of line and retrieving countless snagged lures.
You knew that your most important job was to train them in the ways of God. You taught them right from wrong and corrected them in love. I think spanking them was harder on you then the kids! Bedtime stories were from the Children’s Bible, and then you got down on your knees alongside them and taught them by example that prayer was talking to a Living God. You, also, taught them what it means to truly worship through music. (And they have followed in your footsteps!)
As they grew, you had trouble letting go – driver’s licenses, dates, and college were milestones that tugged on your heartstrings. Later, you had a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes as you officiated at their wedding ceremonies.
Grandbabies were the icing on your Fatherhood Cake. You have delighted in each one. Jude was born to be your fishing buddy and Zara your princess to spoil. When Cruz was adopted, you bonded instantly because you finally had a grandchild with your “pikey” black hair. Little blond Ever became your Snow Gopher – a name she MIGHT allow until adolescence. Ruby entered the world and became your “Sunshine, my only sunshine,” and she would soon learn to sing the song along with you. One look at tiny Quin and you finally had your “Sha la la la la la la la la la la la la brown-eyed-girl.” Recently, to add to your overflowing cup, baby Dean was born and you were the first one to make him laugh. Seven little lives (so far) – the next generation.
During this recent difficult season of your life – while you have quietly endured pain and suffering, surgeries and medications, your children showed up to sit beside your hospital beds or next to the couch. They have shown their love and devotion in so many ways. The children that you shared stories with, kept warm, fed, loved, and sang to– have showed up to do the same for you. The grandchildren have constantly piled on top of the couch to keep you company. This wasn’t done out of obligation, but because of the love and the respect that they have for you.
Our children and grandchildren are blessed to have a father and grandfather like you – a man of character and integrity. You are a rare treasure indeed. Happy Fathers’ Day!