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The Art of Being a Father

Being a father isn't automatic. I think the biggest test of fatherhood is being one when times are stressed, tough, when your kids are perhaps not as grateful as they should be, when you've made mistakes you are ashamed of, when life seems to post more challenges than the day is long.

Often we overlook the difficult times when we talk about fatherhood. Taking resonsibility for a child created out of wedlock (a favorite of mine in romance tropes), being there to love a child who someone else brought into the world are two of my biggies.

Because a true test of a man isn't what's in his pants, but what's in his heart. The gentle part of a man is what we herald today. Yes, we need and love the protection his loving arms brings, so that we feel safe, so that we find the courage to go on when times are tough. And I feel sorry for those men who cannot find it in themselves to really love and cherish a woman, or a child.

One of my favorite stories of fatherhood was when I was about 3. My father told it to me when I was an adult, and I didn't know this story until he told me, with love. We were standing in my grandmother's big kitchen, at the parsonage in Napa. She had a large gas stove that had grease drawers, about 1/2″ deep, one on the right and one on the left.

I came up to dad. “Daddy, do you want a cracker?”
He answered, “Well, sure.”
I went to the grease drawer and pulled out one for him and one for me and handed it to him.

I had found this place, my secret hiding space where none of the adults would look to find the crackers I'd been given as a reward, and saved for a rainy day, or a day when I could give something back to my dad.

I love that image. I loved loving my dad, who, sadly, is now gone. But his heart and the love he gave me lives on forever. Thank you, Dad. I am richer and blessed because of you.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 10 comments
midsumrnghtdrm - June 19, 2016

Sharon what are the best and the worst memories you have of your Father, by worst I mean like maybe he punished you or something like that……Jara

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    Sharon Hamilton - June 19, 2016

    LOL. My mom was the one who did that. And the worst it got was going to be early and not getting to see Disney on TV. LOL. I got spanked I think 5 times as a child.

    A charmed life. But I wasn't really bad, just a handful…LOL

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J.D. Hart - June 19, 2016

That is so beautiful my princess. I believe that love is stronger than time and your Daddy still carries that cracker and all of your love in his heart. Our bodies may end but that kind of spirit merges with the infinite and collective love of the universe. When you think of him and get "that feeling", I know that's him communicating with you…still. As long as you hold that love in your heart for him, he will always be holding you in his loving arms and keeping you safe.
Thank you for sharing this memory and that particular moment in time. xoxoxoxo, yp

Reply
    Sharon Hamilton - June 19, 2016

    Thank you so much, dear J.D. I believe the same thing. And I feel him still in my life. My mother too. I think they're are holding hands and smiling today.

    Reply
julie beasley - June 19, 2016

My father been dead nearly 30 years and we still miss him , specially on special occasions. I was so very lucky to have such a good, hard working very loving father. His family was his everything. There's only a year and two months between my sister and I. The lady across the road would see him with one in each arm and say there's Tommy Lewis and them girls dressed liked princesses

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    Sharon Hamilton - June 19, 2016

    Ah, that's a wonderful image, Julie. You are indeed one of the princesses then, and still now.

    Reply
Judy - June 19, 2016

I would love to read that memory in one of your books. 🙂

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    Sharon Hamilton - June 19, 2016

    Thanks, Judy. It would fit, wouldn't it? Some day it will. I promise…

    Reply
Aline Pack - June 20, 2016

My dad also gone 47 years now. I was young when he passed. My favorite memory was of picking wild violets et giving them to him. Setting on his lap.

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    Sharon Hamilton - June 20, 2016

    What a lovely and tender remembrance, Aline. Thanks for sharing that with me!

    Reply

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