Honor the Father in Your Life!

— Written By Christine Smith and last updated by Kim Davis

On Sunday, we pause to honor and celebrate fathers for the important roles they play as a father, trainer, provider, nurturer, counselor, protector, and the list goes on. Happy Father’s Day, you are appreciated!

Thinking of my father I am reminded of the 83 years he was gifted to me. He was tough, had high expectations and was results oriented. Now that I am a wife, mother, and professional I understand his logic.

All that I am today I owe in part to my father. It was my father who laid the foundation for my life through his encouraging words and engagement in the family. He was always present and cheered for me even when I didn’t meet his standards. As a result, I am a confident well-adjusted woman.

 Some of my fondest memories of my father involve working on the farm. He spent a lot of time instructing and training his children to be responsible and to live by the Golden Rule. His method of transferring knowledge and imparting wisdom took place not in a traditional classroom but in the fields. It was there that he taught us about work ethics, setting goals and developing plans to achieve those goals. He helped us to see the connection between effort and results at harvest time.

In the yard, he taught me how to prune trees, cut hedges, and mow grass using a push mower. In addition to learning those skills, he helped me to see that pruning will become necessary at some point in life in order to grow and expand your horizons. He taught me to embrace change, and view challenges as opportunities because it determines your destiny and ultimately the future.

 Father always wore tailor made suits and the finest Stetson hats and shoes his money could buy. We were not rich by any means so I did not understand why daddy got a tailor made suit almost every year. One day he explained it to me. He said, “Chris never allow money or the lack of it to limit your future or what you can achieve… although it is important to dress for success it is more important to SEE yourself having and doing more”! If you can see it, you can achieve it, was a resounding message.

 My father was known for all the wonderful produce he grew and provided for friends and neighbors. At the end of the day Daddy would send each child home with a package of his home grown produce and occasionally would raid Mom’s pantry and sneak in a jar of her pear preserves. He was proud and excited about sharing his bounty with others. He taught me the gift of generosity and the value in giving – giving through service and deeds, without expectation.

The most important thing my father demonstrated throughout his life was to find your passion. Your passion will cultivate your talents. Every day up to his death he would rise, pray, eat breakfast and spend the rest of the day in the yard pulling up weeds, pruning, planting shrubs, flowers, or a tree. He truly loved working outside and created a beautiful yard for his family to enjoy. Daddy taught me to find joy and pleasure in the small things in life- they will always bring you happiness.

 If you are a father either biologically or surrogate I salute you this month for the important role you play in developing others. You are important and never underestimate the life lessons that you are teaching through your actions. For those lucky enough to have a living father show them how much you appreciate them while you can.

Christine Smith is an Extension Agent in the department of Family & Consumer Sciences with N.C. Cooperative Extension, NCSU. Information on other services available can be found online at http://wayne.ces.ncsu.edu/