The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


db Conard, The Quill

The Strength of A Father

Any child, be it a baby, adolescent, teenager, or a young adult, will be shaped for better or worse by that unique relationship between a father and his children.

This is that time of year when each of us who is or has been a part of someone's life as a father figure, is celebrated with a special day.

Fathers Day is recognition that a child or a wife appreciates what Dad has been to them and the family. 

Before we became a father, wouldn't it be something if there were "training kids" that we could practice on before we got the real thing.

Some men are lucky and have parents and mentors to learn from and to be guided by so that their children have a wonderful advantage. 

Then there are other men who never had the good example, but instead were exposed to either nothing, the absence of a father, or perhaps the worst of qualities in a parent. Their children, may face many struggles because their Dad's didn't have the advantages of being taught good parenting skills.

Our grandfathers and forefathers continue to be so important, because of the lessons and the strength that has come down through them over the years.

Although they may not be alive today to personally share their wisdom, they have helped to shape the kind of fathers we grew up with, and thus, what we ourselves have become. 

Like a bucket, children are filled only from the experiences that have come from those who are closest to them.

How can we as a society expect that a new father who grew up never knowing any type of an example of a good man or father, to automatically have the proper skills that are necessary to give a child the best chance for success in this ever changing world?

As I write this column, I have to think of the strength of men I know and some of the things that generally aren't mentioned when Fathers Day is celebrated.

We think of provider, and fixer of things, but often forget the strength that has nothing to do with muscles, but of character, endurance, patience, understanding, and sacrifice.

It is not just a list of qualities that sound good, but in varying degrees it makes up the package of actions and qualities that lasts for generations, and a legacy that will touch so many lives.

The relationship of father to child ranges from the joy of the first knowing looks of a baby's eyes, to the pain of worry and loss from either natural causes, or the tragedies that are a part of life .

I look at my friend Byron Sparrow of Lomax, and how close he recently came to losing his father Beryl due to health issues. I can only imagine what had to go through his mind as he remembered the important things he would miss had the doctors not worked their wonders. 

Byron has been given more time to appreciate his father.

Then I think of Byron himself as a father, and how close he came to losing his own baby boy as he was put on a life flight after his birth to Iowa City. 

As I watch Byron and his dad together, you can not help but notice the constant lessons being taught that come from 89 years of life experiences.

Lessons that are repeated time and again, and passed down to the next generation.

The clock doesn't stop as a father. And as time goes by, there are those things we regret and wished we had done differently.

But they still can be of value if we share them as lessons in our childrens' lives. 

Byron and his father are a good example of one of the most important things that make a good father and that is an enduring strength that pulls through the tough times.

It's a God-given strength that comes through much worry and thankless labor, yet all made worthwhile due to one of the greatest gifts of all, and that is the love a father receives from his child.

Beryl Sparrow, 89, visits with his son Byron, both of Lomax.