Today is Father’s Day in the United States, a day to thank your father for what a good influence he has been in your life. If you are fortunate, that is true. It has also grown to be a day when you thank the men who have been a good influence in your life, or a good influence in the world in general. Again, if you are fortunate you know a man like that.
My dad died when I was six years old, so although I loved him dearly, I never really got to know him as a person. Looking back, there were good things and not-so-good things about him as a father, but none of us are perfect. My son’s father was a good father in many ways. I watch our son with his children, and think he does an even better job of being a father. 🙂
One of the blogs I read regularly is “flappiness is . . . ,” written by a mother about her family’s experience with autism. Last month her father died, so today’s blog entry is the eulogy she read at his funeral. He sounds like a very special man. One of the things she included is an essay she found in a 1916 Old Farmers Almanac, and I’d like to share it with you here.
A friend is a person who is “for you,” always, under any suspicion. He never investigates you. When charges are made against you, he does not ask proof. He asks the accuser to clear out. Anybody may stand by you when you are right; a friend stands by you even when you are wrong. He likes you just as you are. He does not want to alter you. Whatever kind of coat you are wearing suits him. Whether you have on a dress suit or a hickory shirt with no collar, he thinks it’s fine. He likes your moods, and enjoys your pessimism as much as your optimism. He likes your success. And your failure endears you to him the more. He is never jealous. He wants nothing from you, except that you be yourself. He is the one being with whom you can feel SAFE. With him you can utter your heart, its badness and its goodness. You don’t have to be careful. In his presence you can be indiscreet; which means you can rest. You give to him without reluctance and borrow from him without embarrassment. When you are vigorous and spirited you like to spend your days with him; when you are in trouble you want to tell him; when you are sick you want to see him; when you are dying you want him near. Friendship is the most admirable, amazing, and rare article among human beings. It is said the highest known form of friendship is that of the dog to his master. You are in luck if you can find one man or one woman on earth who has that kind of affection for you and fidelity to you. For if you can live fifty years and find one absolute friend you are fortunate indeed. For of the thousands of human creatures that crawl the earth, few are such stuff as friends are made of.
I have a friend like that, but it took me 40 years to find him. He is my husband. And he is a very good man. He does a difficult job very well, in a way that does not re-victimize victims. He is a good son, father, and grandfather. He listens, he makes me laugh, and he makes the world a better place by being in it.
Happy Father’s Day, Sweetie. 🙂