Fatherhood, A Forgotten Treasure

Fatherhood

In movies they are portrayed as the awkward people who stumble into love only to discover that it’s their girlfriend’s best friend that they truly love.

Fatherhood. Compared to motherhood there is no comparison. In culture and humanity, motherhood is always the hands-down priority. There is a reason that God is portrayed as “masculine.” Being perceived far away from us and sometimes invisible, it is a fitting gender choice for our Creator. The earth is “feminine” because the place is riddled with new life and encourages fruition to everything within it.

But what about dad? This man who breathes life into every family occasion. Absently invisible best describes the Creator of the created creatures that roam his castle. God breathed life and the world came into existence. God stood back and considered it “good.” How many dads look out over a family gathering and smile to themselves thinking, “Gosh, I did this!” Whether it’s meant as a question or an exclamation; if a family’s foundation is mom, then dad is surely its roof and basement.

Only One

A dad’s investment in family life has improved over the years. It is not uncommon to see a dad pushing the stroller around the neighborhood or changing the child’s diaper in the men’s restroom. (I love the pull down counter most of them have now.)

My dad married later in life so the five of us had a dad that friends referred to as, “Oh, I like your grandfather.” I didn’t want to play ball and my dad didn’t either, so it was a good father/son match.

Quiet, reserve, inward and almost aloof without being unapproachable; my father would listen to any story told to him by his children or grandchildren. Sitting peacefully by the fireplace and savoring his evening cigar, we could have read “War and Peace” to him and he would have complied with our wishes.

A Treasure

My mother died first. She was the vocal one of the pair, the one who disciplined, clothed and monitored homework. “Do what your mother said,” was my dad’s idea of parenting. Simple and clean.

Her passing gradually brought about a hidden treasure that we vaguely recognized as that man who smoked by the fireplace. The hidden treasure of person-hood, personal history and personality unearthed itself.

The earth gave the five of us life, and the breath that we yearned for showed itself during the final eight years of his life.

Treasures are called that because sometimes we need to dig deeply to uncover what is always before us.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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