Today I was at the shopping mall and I spent a lot of time reading the Father’s Day cards. They all had a special message that in some way or another reflected how I feel about you. Yet as I selected and read, and selected and read again, it occurred to me that not a single card said what I really want to say to you.
You’ll soon be 84 years old, Dad, and you and I will have had 55 Father’s Days together. I haven’t always been with you on Father’s Day nor have I been with you for all of your birthdays. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be with you. I’ve always been with you in my heart but sometimes life gets in the way.
You know, Dad, there was a time when we were not only separated by the generation gap but completely polarized by it. You stood on one side of the Great Divide and I on the other, father and daughter split apart by age and experience, opinions, hairstyles, cosmetics, clothing, curfews, music, and boys.
The Father-Daughter Duel of ’54 shifted into high gear when you taught me to drive the old Dodge and I decided I would drive the ‘54 Chevy whether you liked it or not. The police officer who escorted me home after you reported the Chevy stolen late one evening was too young to understand father-daughter politics and too old to have much tolerance for a snotty 16 year old. You were so decent about it, Dad, and I think that was probably what made it the worst night of my life.
When I was five, my biological father committed suicide. It left me feeling as though I'd done something wrong; that if I had been better somehow, maybe he'd have stayed around. My mother remarried shortly thereafter, and this man was my dad until I was nineteen. I called him Dad and used his name all through school. But, when he and my mother divorced, he just walked away. Once again, I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't keep a father.
Mother remarried again, and Bob was a wonderful, kind man. I was twenty now and no longer living at home, but I felt a great love and attachment for him. A few years later my mother was diagnosed with cancer and was not given long to live. Shortly before she died, Bob came over to my house alone one day. We talked about a lot of things, and then he told me that he wanted me to know that he'd always be there for me, even after Mother was gone. Then he asked if he could adopt me.
I could hardly believe my ears. Tears streamed down my face. He wanted me - me! This man had no obligation to me, but he was reaching out from his heart, and I accepted. During the adoption proceedings, the judge commented on all the undesirable duties of his profession and then with a tear in his eye, thanked us for brightening his day as he pronounced us father and daughter. I was twenty-five, but I was his little girl.
Three short years later, Bob, too, was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within the year. At first I was hurt and angry at God for taking this father away too. But eventually the love and acceptance that I felt from Dad came through again, and I became, once more, grateful for the years we had.
On Father's Day I always reflect on what I've learned about fatherhood. I've learned that it is not dependent on biology or even on raising a child. Fatherhood is a matter of the heart. Bob's gift from the heart will warm my soul for eternity.
A good parent-children relationship should be set up on the basis mutual understanding and respect. Parents can not impose their ideas on their children. They should treat their children as independent individual. It is advisable for the parents to learn to listen to children’s ideas and encourage them to think on their own rather than decide everything for the children. On the other hand, children should listen to their parents’ advice for they’re more experienced. Try to be understanding when there is disagreement with parents. Always keep one thing in min---whatever they do comes from their love for us. It is necessary children to exchange ideas with parents from time to time so that the gap between parents and children will be narrowed.