I have some wonderful memories of my dad.  He was creative and talented.  When we would be running errands in the car he and I would sing songs and even make some up.  He could play the piano and organ and there were times when he would spell his famous father (organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NY) when he was running late. No one was the wiser.  He was a man raised in faith and held a strong belief in Christ as his savior.  When the winter snow arrived he would take my brothers and I tobogganing.  My mom use to tell my older brother to please take care of his dad as he was usually the one who came home with a bump, bruise or broken toboggan.  My dad made history come alive and when we lived in Brazil and Italy, he would tell us about the rich history, customs, and beliefs that were part of the culture.  I can remember him picking up an encyclopedia and reading it like it was a novel.  For those that don’t know, an encyclopedia is an A-Z Volume of printed books, now only found at second hand stores, with information similar to Wikipedia.  He was also a wordsmith and unbeknownst to me at the time, had taken a year off from work to write but was unsuccessful in supporting a family of five. It was only as an adult that I found his stories and articles and was amazed at the depth and vibrancy depicted.

But there were also some not so wonderful memories.  I always knew my dad loved us but he often did not know the right way to show his love to his wife and kids.  Dad had a temper with a very short fuse.  I was rarely on the receiving end of his anger but on more than one occasion saw it in full blown hurricane strength with my brothers.  He traveled for business and when my mother could not go along, succumb to temptations that led him away from his wife and family.  My mother worked hard to keep that part of their lives quiet from us and for the most part succeeded.  With love, patience on both their parts his last years on earth were tempered by wisdom learned, love cultivated, and faith practiced.

This Father’s Day as I think about my dad, I realize, I, in many ways, am like him – short on patience with a bend towards creativity. I realize that fathers, like any other mortal are privy to imperfections, faults, hurts, hang ups, and bad habits. After all, they are human – just like us.  I try to look through the lens of God when I run the projector of memories of my dad and can see that even the not so good memories have helped strengthen and to lead me  towards leading a Christ centered life. But, like my father, it is not always easy.

I have a friend who never knew her father nor blessed with father figures in her life.  She lamented and mourned what she did not have – until she committed her life to Christ.  It was then she realized that she indeed always had a father.    Whether we are blessed with a good earthly father or not, we can acknowledge that we have the greatest heavenly father of all – God.  While you may feel you cannot trust your earthly father; know without a doubt you can put your trust in God.  No matter what our life path, Abba Father will always be there with His arms stretched out inviting us into His warm embrace.  He will be there when we get a bad diagnosis, lose our job, and face marital issues, addiction, or issues with our children.  He is in our midst.

My dad died when I was 14 and I have learned to live without him.  But I cannot imagine life without God.  It’s good to know that I won’t ever have to.

Psalm 91: I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Happy Father’s Day to Father God. May we share the blessings he has bestowed upon us with grace, love and kindness.

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I want to thank all of you have ordered a copy of my book, Surviving Medical Mayhem, Laughing When It Hurts. 

Pick up your copy today at https://www.lorettaschoen.com/book/ and laugh, learn, and lean on God.

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