Dads—real life heroes

By Helen Row Toews

June 15, 2017 12:00 AM

During the Middle Ages in Catholic Europe, Saint Joseph’s Day (“Nourisher of the Lord”) was set aside to honour fatherhood, but a North American celebration didn’t begin until the 20th century.
As recently as 1972, President Richard Nixon permanently fixed it as a national holiday on the third Sunday of June.
Since then it has become a special day observed by many nations around the world.
Along with Mother’s Day it’s become a very important time for children young and old to express love and appreciation for their parents.
Also, it allows us all to recognize the contribution fathers make in their families and society as a whole.
Fathers are critical to the emotional and physical well-being of their children.
Anyone can create a child but only men who have limitless love, patience, firm guidance and an unselfish ability to put their family before themselves, can be true dads.
Farmers and ranchers have a unique opportunity to spend more time with their offspring than men who work in other professions.
For the most part, they are accessible throughout each day and can always be counted on for encouragement, leadership or a loving ear to listen.
Having the chance to spend this amount of time with their families is a gift beyond measure—for everyone involved.
Quality time spent in play or work means so much to a child and creates memories which last a lifetime.
Through example, farmers are able to teach their children the skills needed to deal with everyday challenges far exceeding any lessons in animal husbandry, mechanics or crop rotation.
These men teach real living, and how to cope bravely with adversity and setbacks.
Kids on the farm have a chance to learn, from their fathers, a way of life that’s good and wholesome; where respect for our good earth and value for life is taught through action and deed rather than from the screen of a television or computer. 
All fathers are heroes to their children.
In this present day and age, with such an abundance of potential role models in the media, either for good or bad, children continue to name their dad as the hero in their world.
One has only to ride my bus for an afternoon to hear the ominous threats of, “I’ll tell my dad on you,” or the age-old, “My dad is stronger than your dad,” to know they are still larger-than-life heroes.
And what an impact these men make!
Current studies show kids who feel loved by their fathers end up with greater self-esteem and overall happiness in life.
Furthermore, their psychological health is better as less depression, problems with drugs or delinquency are reported.
It’s a win-win situation too since the rewards of fatherhood are too numerous to mention.
Naturally, this column wouldn’t be complete without a few words spoken of my own experience with fine fathers and father figures in my life.
I’ve known many of them: husband Tom, uncle Don, brother Bill, father-in-law Frank, and the worthy fathers of several friends (one I’ve met only recently).
However, I’ve been a blessed daughter indeed to have had a truly wonderful dad myself.
My father taught me an appreciation for life and the simple joys there are to be found in each and every day, if you have eyes attuned to see them.
He showed my brother and me how to live a life filled with optimism and hope; always believing in tomorrow and the promise that things will get better with a little faith and some time.
We saw a man of principal and decency; a man who was true to what he believed and applied honesty and integrity to every aspect of his life.
Someone whose handshake really was as good as his bond.
More than all this though, I knew love and security as I grew up.
Despite his stoic English upbringing, in which a sappy show of emotion was suppressed, I knew he loved and was proud of his girl no matter what dumb thing she did.
He’s been my strength and foundation; shaping my life in countless ways.
He has been and shall always be my hero.
I love you dad.
“You may have thought I didn’t see, or that I hadn’t heard, life lessons that you taught to me, but I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all, and that we’d grow apart, but dad, I picked up everything, it’s written on my heart.” – Author Unknown

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