Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's About Time, Not Gifts, On Father's Day

As a father of eight wonderful children, I can speak with absolute certainty when I say; Father's day is truly about spending time with your loved ones, and not about getting gifts from them! (And as side note, since we're a one income home, I kinda know who's financing those gifts. But shh, don't tell the kids!)

For many years now, my family has been blessed with the opportunity to host my family's father's day gathering. We spend the day, after church, gathering around good food, good fellowship, and always, good laughs. We normally take some time to go around the room and have the various families in attendance say a few words about my dad, Reynaldo P. Fuentes. He's the patriarch of the Fuentes family, and to date, has been blessed with 22 grand-children from his four children. Truly a gift from the LORD!

My dad's a humble man, who is seeking to live out his remaining years as a shining example to his children and grand-children, of what a man looks like as he serves the LORD in his "golden years." My dad was saved later in life, somewhere around 60 or so, and has been playing catch-up ever since. He hasn't wasted any time cherishing his family heritage, pouring love on his children and grand-children, and conforming his life to the will of God. He's a great guy, who you can't help but like the first time you meet him.

My dad always tried his best to provide us with a nice place to live, nice clothe to wear, and good times to remember growing up. He did what he could from a distance, being that he and my mom divorced when I was young. My three siblings and I (pictured with my folks) were fortunate in that, while other men usually divorced their kids along with their wives, my dad never did. He always stayed in our lives and we knew he'd be there when we needed him. I never wondered if my dad loved me because whenever I got to spend time with him growing up, he told me he did. And for a kid growing up in inner city Chicago, that meant a lot!

So as I get to see my dad on Father's Day every year, I know there's nothing I could give him that would bring him more delight or happiness than a good cup of coffee and some time on the couch talking about life. After a quick chat, he usually heads out to play T-rex with his grand kids and throws the football around with them too. You see, gifts could never bring what my dad, and all dads I know, really want, which is more time to enjoy those who are eternal. We are happy just to be called Dad, and no amount of money spent on a gift we may or may not need, can ever compare to just spending time with those you love the most.

If you still have your dad in your life, don't let this Father's Day go without letting him know how much you care for him. Gifts don't convey love, words do. Gifts don't mend relationships, words do. Gifts aren't remembered, words are. So if there's anything you should give your dad this Father's Day, it should be YOU! Give him your full undivided attention, give him perhaps his favorite meal, give him as many of your family members as you can squeeze into your home, and most importantly, give him your time, because after all, that's all he really needs.

May God Bless you, and Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. . .