I have enjoyed reading a lot of entries today about people's dads in anticipation of celebrating Father's Day tomorrow. There were so many wonderful stories out there about dads' love, dedication, commitment, faithfulness to their family; I was touched by them all.
This is a picture of my mom and my dad on their wedding day, May 2, 1953.
I never knew my dad. As many of you know, he died when I was 18 months old, on July 1, 1959, leaving behind my mom, a widow at age 38 with three young children almost 5 years old, almost 3 years old, and me, 18 months old. He was 39 years old.
He's my dad; I know he is because his name is on my birth certificate and will be on my death certificate. He is the one that God chose to be my dad. I believe I'll see him one day in heaven.
I think he was a good man. After all, my mom loved him dearly with all her heart, he was her one true love. She never dated or remarried after he died.
I have the stories my mom told of him. I know he loved me.
I know I'm not the only one that grew up without a dad, war takes dads away from their children, a lot of times even before the child is born; accidents have a way of doing that too, sickness, illness, etc.
When I was younger and not as wise, I thought when I died the first thing I would ask God is why he allowed my dad to die so young. But I'm older and wiser and know God had a purpose and a plan, even though it didn't make sense at the time and even though I may never know what that plan or purpose is this side of eternity. For whatever reason, he allowed it and I can accept that these days.
I have to say, the Bible says a lot about God having a special heart for the widow and the fatherless. I can truly attest to that. We didn't have much, but we had all that we needed; God did provide and provided so much and for that I am grateful.
What I know about my dad is he was born in 1920 in Poland. He was in the Polish Army. When Hitler invaded Poland, the army was put in war camps so my dad spent the war in a war camp. He contracted some type of a lung condition there that would eventually be part of his demise years later.
He emigrated to the United States after the war, he was sponsored by his cousins. He settled in the Western Pennsylvania area and worked in the steel mills.
He was in his early 30s when he met my mom. He was known as a Casanova for his good looks and my mom was surprised that she caught his attention. She didn't think she was beautiful enough for him, but she was in so many different ways, not just physically but she had the kindest of hearts. She thought she would be an old maid, she was almost embarrassed to be a bride at the age of 32. Of course God had plans that did not include her to be an old maid because three children would come from their union.
My dad would work the graveyard shifts at times. I know, from stories told, when he came home I would fetch his slippers for him to put on.
I don't know how it was to have a dad around me in my growing up years, going to class plays, helping with homework, guiding me through life, walking me down the aisle. My brother did that and did a mighty fine job.
I don't know what I missed because I don't know how it would have been because I never had it except for a mere 18 months of which I can't remember.
Yet I am glad he is my dad. I know God chose wisely and for that I am grateful.