I Wept at His Funeral

by Gordon Smith

         My dad wasn’t a Christian.  He and my mother never got along.  They separated a number of times when I was very young and separated for the final time when I was twelve.  Obviously, I never had the kind of relationship with my father that many children enjoy.  I recall how I used to envy my friends who came from homes where their mother and dad stayed together.  Through my early years I longed for…a home where I could feel a sense of security…for a dad who would take me to a ball game or the amusement park…who would encourage me and tell me he loved me.  I played football and basketball in high school.  Only one time did my dad come to see me play and on that occasion he was drunk and embarrassed me.  I became a rebellious young man.  On eight different occasions I was arrested and put in jail.  When my dad died, he did not leave either of his sons one dime.  His children were not one of his top priorities.

     While attending my dad’s funeral in Duluth, Minnesota, I wept.  Why?  Well, whatever had happened, he was my dad.  I had a special feeling for him.  Like almost all people, he had many good points.  Maybe I wept because of what could have been.  I wanted desperately to love my dad, if only he would have let me.  I wanted him to love his grandchildren and to allow them to bring some happiness into his life; but he seemed unconcerned .  The simple truth is that drinking and having what the world considers to be a good time was more important to my dad than anything else.  Consequently, he missed out on the real joys of life.  He never enjoyed the love of his sons or grandchildren.  He never knew the joys of sharing their accomplishments or the camaraderie of sympathizing with them over their setbacks.  He never knew the thrill of holding his grandchildren in his lap and hearing the words, “Granddaddy, I love you very much.” He never knew what it was to sit around the Thanksgiving table with his entire family…to share in the laughter…to feel the closeness that comes from family ties…to hold the hand of the mother and grandmother of his offspring and say, “We have been blessed.”  I guess maybe that is why I wept.  Not so much because of what he did not give me but because of what he himself had missed.

     To every father who reads this, put your family second only to God.  They will make mistakes as you make mistakes.  Regardless, never stop loving them and let them know that you love them.  If you want to be loved, you must love; to be forgiven, you must forgive; to be understood, you must be understanding; to receive, you must give.  Your family will probably weep when you die.  Only you can determine why they will weep!

via Park Avenue church bulletin

Charleston, WV


Comments are closed.