SFPNN Special Edition - 09/19/03 Together With Father
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--- Thanks to author, Joseph Walker, for today's Special Edition

TOGETHER WITH FATHER

 

He was clearly on the way up a rising star. Everything he touched turned to gold.

Sometimes platinum.

Professionally, he was praised and admired. His supervisors had confidence in his abilities and significant plans for his future. His colleagues enjoyed his kind manner and fun sense of humor. Those who worked with him were impressed with his pleasant professionalism. Most everyone who knew him predicted extraordinary things for his career.

He was also active in volunteer service in his church and community. He accepted time-consuming responsibilities, and always performed with his whole heart and soul. People raved about how good he was with young people, and how he had made a difference in so many lives.

Talented, creative, personable and popular, he seemed to have the world by the tail.

Except for one thing: he was losing his son.

Dont get me wrong. He wasnt a bad father. He loved his children, and they loved him. They just didnt spend much time together. There was always some project at work that required his attention, or a church meeting, or a civic responsibility. He spent more time working with some of the underprivileged kids in his community than he spent with his own children.

And that was OK, he thought. It was important to set and example of industry and service for his children. Besides, he told his wife, "we dont do quantity time. We do quality time."

Only it got to the point that "quality" time consisted mostly of yelling at his son. The pattern was usually the same: hed get home late from work, his wife would be fuming at some stunt their son had pulled during the day, he would call the boy in and lecture for 20 minutes, and then hed take off to spend one-on-one time with young people at his church.

Often hed come home late and crawl into bed, worrying about the distance that seemed to be separating him from his son. Hed lay there remembering when the boy was little, how theyd romp and play together. How theyd wrestle and have tickle fights together. How theyd talk and life and sing together.

The man was pretty bright, but it took an awfully long time for him to realize that the key to mending his relationship with his son was in that one word: together. Theyd have to work on it together. And the best way to do that was to actually BE together. He made some adjustments professionally so he could spend more time at home. He shifted the focus of his church and community service so he could be involved with his son.

As they began spending more time together, their relationship healed. His sons grades improved. They stopped getting telephone calls from concerned teachers and administrators at school. Peace returned to their home. And even though his employment was suddenly unstable and he was less prominent in his community and his church, the man was happier than he could ever remember being. He had his son back. His family was "together." Thats all that mattered.

Now, Im not going to tell you that every case of teenage rebellion can be eliminated by caring fathers who will focus more of their time and energy at home. But Im haunted by a remark made recently by the sister of a slain teenage gangster: "Mom loved him. I loved him. We did all we could. But without a father in his life, he turned to the gang. And now hes dead."

Fathers, were needed and not just for a few "quality" minutes here and there. While most of us pay lip service to how important our families are to us, when it comes right down to it the people who matter most to us often receive the least from us. Our children need our time, talent, energy and experience. But mostly, they just need us to be there.

And to be together.

--- Joseph Walker

http://www.sfpnn.com/joseph_walker1.htm
valuespeak@msn.com

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This and every issue of SFPNN is dedicated to MISTY, a tiny angel who taught us to love unconditionally and bask in the glory and joy of each moment.

 

"ONLY LOVE PREVAILS" --- Beverley Waller