What Father’s Day Means to Me
Since 2010 I have published this article, on this day. My father died in May 2014, but it is even truer today, than the day it was first published. I hope it touches you, like it did me. If your father is alive, for those of us who lost our dad please call him, hug him and love him. If your father is passed, I know the wound. If you didn’t have a father or had a bad one, then purpose in your heart to be a great father. Enjoy, as I give you What Father’s Day Means to Me:
Father’s day is by far my favorite holiday! It is a celebration of the man who is my father and the greatest joy of my life being a dad.
I was blessed when I was born to Robert W. Carpenter, Sr. He has been my best friend, my Dad and everything that a man could ever want from a father He has not always done everything right, but he has been a perfect father Let me explain.
Once when I was young I was punished for something I didn’t do. He was angry with me and he spanked me. He wouldn’t listen to me to tell him that I was not the one that did it. In fact, it was my brother Gregg. Like I said, he hasn’t always done everything right.
The greatest memory of my life (other than the birth of my kids), however, was directly tied to that night. Several weeks later he found out (not with my help) that he had wrongly spanked me. For only the second time in my life I saw my father cry. He came to my room and spoke to me about the scripture that implores fathers, “don’t provoke your children to wrath. Ephesians 6:4
He talked to me about being a man and about that as a father even he made mistakes. He passionately and with no fear of being found out told me that he had learned he was wrong. With tears falling off of his cheeks, my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t think about the fact I was spanked wrongly, all I could think about was that my hero was on my bed, broken. Like a real man. Forgiveness was never in doubt.
He held me in his arms that night and long past I stopped crying he still held me tight. I am unsure if he was trying to hold me close so I could feel his broken heart, but that night in his arms is the greatest memory that I have.
I remember being on the phone with him the night I found out that my wife was pregnant with my Princess. She was my first child and I was worried. I was afraid that I couldn’t afford to be a parent. He assured me that I didn’t have to have the resources that he did to be a good father. I told him I was unsure that I could be as good of a father as him and he assured me I could. He has proven to be wrong on that.
I remember sitting in my suburban out in a cow pasture in Oklahoma hunting, as we talked about his father. My father lost his dad when he was very young. That loss was devastating to him. My father was raised in an era that men felt it weak to cry. He had several older brothers and that loss haunted him. I believe that he was determined in his heart to be the best dad in the world because he had a void that was not filled. You did it dad.
He told me that day in the cow pasture in Oklahoma that, “Son, one day I will take my last breath on earth. My heart breaks because I know what the loss of a father meant to me. I am sorry you will endure that, but please know this. I want to see my dad. I looked at him like you do me. Remember that as you will one day say goodbye to your children that he and I will be waiting to see you again. I can’t wait to introduce you to your grandfather.”
You are my hero dad. I am unashamed to say how much I love you. Thank you for never missing one of my football games or other sporting events. Thanks for making me feel like I know my Grandpa even though I haven’t met him. I will the moment my life is over!
Thanks for teaching me that it is O.K. to say I am sorry, and it that it is an even better to give forgiveness. Thanks for being the person who makes me laugh and for teaching me that it takes a man to hug and to kiss his sons. Thanks for teaching me more by your actions than anything that you say.
Thanks for teaching me things like buying you your wood for the fireplace and then complaining when I do it. Giving you gift certificates comes quickly with a, “You shouldn’t have, but a thank you.” Thanks for loving Grandma when Grandpa wasn’t here to do it. Thanks for being the first to say things will get better and the first to say, “You’re wrong.” Thanks for letting me make bad choices and learning from them without I told you so, but being there to say here is how we fix it.
Thanks for raising me to love America, to appreciate the sacrifice of our veterans, and that loving MSU was how we live. Thanks for teaching me to love hunting, fishing, and spending time with my children like you did me by example. You taught more with your the way you lived than what you said.
If I were to say all that you have done, this article would be too long for people to read. All I can say is that I am one person who has nothing that he would want to change. Your humanity showed my brothers and me so much. Your character was a road map to success!
No one could ever tell you that you couldn’t do anything because you would set your mind to do it simply to prove them wrong. Thanks for the tears you shed when Grandma died and being an example that real men can weep when they lose those that they love with all their heart. Thanks for the tears that night on my bed when you knew you had wrongly spanked me, teaching that remorse is healthy when we do wrong, and being a man means not only recognizing it, but also saying that you are sorry.
You taught me to be principled, in an unprincipled world. You taught me that a dad has to sometimes be unpopular and make the choices that are best and not always popular. You became my best friend, but didn’t parent trying to be one.
Thanks for the tears in the parking lot the night my family and I went to a movie with you. Watching you cry after Flags of our Fathers while trying to tell us about the sacrifice Grandma and your brothers suffered made us proud of the heritage of the Carpenter family. Your love for America and refusal to remain silent when those who lead fail her inspired me to love the greatest nation on earth that we call home.
Thanks for telling me so many times how Aunt Edith going to hear you sing at your one concert while in grade school meant so much. It taught me that giving my time to the people I love is the best gift. Thanks for telling me about selling seeds for a B-B gun, the black beauty book and a truck.
Thanks for being the best example of Christ that anyone could be. Proverbs 31 tells us what a perfect woman is. If there was a chapter dedicated to what a man and father are, it would simply say See Robert W. Carpenter, Sr.
You are the best. I am proud to be your son. I am proud of you. I know that Grandpa would be also. He fathered a great son: A great son who became a great father. I love you dad.
What does this holiday mean to me? It means my dad. A dad I love. My hero. Thank you Dad. You’re the best. I have great kids. The best in the world and the best dad anywhere. I have traveled the world and know this: Today has nothing to do with me and everything to do with my father and my children. This is the day I celebrate how blessed I am.