As far back as I can remember, I felt such guilt for not having the loving feelings for my adoptive dad that I always thought a daughter should have for her father.  He annoyed me in so many little ways that I tended to reject him without fully understanding what I was doing.  And, yet, he was such a wonderful man in all the ways that really mattered.  To say I was, and still am, conflicted about these emotions is an understatement!

I can remember at the age of seven or eight, in Pocatello, Idaho,  listening to a song on the radio called Daddy’s Little Girl by the Mills Brothers, a ’40’s and ’50’s singing group.  I cried all the way through it because I knew my dad felt the emotions expressed by the song and somehow I just didn’t, or couldn’t, feel towards him what I thought I should feel in response to those beautiful words of love.  I literally grew up feeling very little for him, bad or good,  except guilt that I didn’t feel more fondness for him.  Today, those same emotions and tears come to the surface when I hear that song.

My parents’ relationship always amazed me.  Mom will tell you to this day at the age of 95, that he was the most wonderful man, so good to her and they were so much in love.  To her, he was the perfect husband, they had the perfect marriage and after he passed away at 75, she would never consider dating, much less marry another man, because she had had such a perfect and fulfilled life that she didn’t want to risk messing it up.  After 41 years of marriage, that says a lot about Dad’s character, and hers too for that matter!

My Parents

They could sit and visit by the hour, or read or play cards, word games, etc. on their own and never say a word to each other for hours at a time.  They were best friends, partners in business and in life, and lovers all in one.

And, I have to say, in all the 22 years I lived with them, I NEVER heard either of them say a cross or insulting word to each other–ever!  If there were disagreements, they never discussed them in front of or in earshot of me, and by the time I got home from school, things were always back to normal.  A couple of times, I remember thinking that breakfast was a little quiet, but other than that, they really knew how to resolve any issues they had as adults and not involve “the kid” in their problems, if there were any.  What an awesome example they set for me of what a good marriage should be!

Dad was a friend to many, a counselor to even more, a moral man, and a man of integrity, and he counted it his joy to help people get healthy and stay healthy, body, soul and spirit.  The last  15 to 20 years of his life were spent working in the nutrition industry, among other customer service type jobs,  where he seemed to really find the most fulfillment.

After leaving our ranch in the latter part of the 50’s, Dad never was able to latch on to any one career for many years at a time.  Each position he held he performed to the best of his ability and was reasonably successful, if not so much in monetary terms.  I think he deeply regretted that he had been unable to make a mountain of money to take care of the three of us for the rest of our lives and he did suffer from depression over this from time to time.  But Mom, the eternal optimist, would always remind him that she was happy as a clam as long as they were together and the money was not important to her.  (It didn’t help tho’ that a business partner had taken off with $100, 000 of their company’s money and left him holding the bag in the very early ’60’s and I don’t think he was ever able to fully overcome that betrayal.)

My purpose in sharing my dad with you is not only to tell you how very proud I am of him for his hard work, ethics and solid faith in God, but, of course, his willingness to take on the raising of a child that was not his own, a feat not many men are able to do.  In addition, I also wanted to share my own conflicts in the hopes of helping someone out there in “blogland” come to grips with their own “father” issues.  He was, in my estimation, more than worthy of my love and adoration.  So, why the conflict?  I don’t fully know the answer to this question as yet as

Daddy and Me

I’m still learning and growing in this area, but having confidence in God to bring a positive resolution certainly helps. Be encouraged to have confidence in the God of Peace and Love to resolve any such issues you may have as well.  If you struggle to believe in God as Father as I sometimes do, it is logical to assume that many of our conflicts stem from issues with our earthly fathers. When we choose to forgive them for not being able to meet our needs adequately, and then in return ask them for their forgiveness for not treating them as we should have, we will be better able to trust our Daddy God and receive all the wonderful blessings He has for us.

On a more personal level, while writing a recent blog post on forgiveness, I was struck with the tho’t that to overcome this guilt for the lack of feelings for my dad, I needed to pray and ask the Lord to help me forgive my dad for not being all that I needed as a child.  As an example, I must forgive him for not loving me in a way I could receive and for thinking that tickling me would suffice as his way of showing affection.  (I HATED being tickled and repeatedly told him to stop.)  And, in turn, I need to ask God’s forgiveness for mistreating him and punishing him by pushing him out of my life as much as I did.  I basically just ignored him a lot of the time.

I don’t know how God is going to heal the hole in my heart, but I do know that I can have confidence in my God to bring about a good ending.  Dad’s been gone 26 years and 2 weeks now, but his memory is still with me and I can trust the Lord to relay my message to him.  I’ll see him again one day, and I’m sure I won’t have any trouble at all throwing my arms around his neck and telling him I love him and thanking him for raising me up to be a lover of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Until then, I can say by faith, “I love you Daddy!  Happy Father’s Day!!!”

Dad and Mom