Not Just a Father but a Dad
Every third Sunday in June, there is always this nagging loneliness that envelopes me even when I was still a child. It was that simple holiday that reminded me that there was a void, an emptiness that cannot be filled. This special day shared by father and child – Father’s day – is one day I never truly appreciated.
Growing up without a father was indeed difficult; there were certain things that I wanted to do with him; things I wanted to talk to him about. There was a point when I envied children who had fathers who took them to their first ball game, who took them to fishing or camping trips. Fatherly Love, something I never felt, but surely the poet Anne Bradstreet felt such love from her father.
Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same
Than may your worthy self from whom it came?
The principal might yield a greater sum,
Yet handled ill, amounts but to this crumb;
My stock’s so small I know not how to pay,
My bond remains in force unto this day;
Yet for part payment take this simple mite,
Where nothing’s to be had, kings loose their right.
Such is my debt I may not say forgive,
But as I can, I’ll pay it while I live;
Such is my bond, none can discharge but I,
Yet paying is not paid until I die.
The poem above entitled To Her Father With Some Verses is written by Anne dedicated to her father, Thomas Dudley. The great love shared by father and child is overwhelmingly clear with this poem. Here she showered him with respect; she acknowledged that without him, she would never have been. Being born in a time when education for women is uncommon, Anne Bradstreet was intellectual woman, being able to read and write in different languages. Known as the first published poet, Anne would not have been a famous poet had it not for his father who hired tutors for his children. Her appreciation and gratitude is apparent in the last four lines of the poem; recognizing that she is in great debt to him. She even went to the extent as admitting that she would never be able to fully repay his generosity.
I realized that not having a father is something that I could not change; this I have accepted already. I have made a name for myself without his help and I will continue living my life without him. The poem and my situation taught me a great deal about the true meaning about fatherhood. Anne had such great love for his father because of the things he has done for her; I on the other hand, understands the view of child longing for his father.
Now, if I catch myself saying “I wish dad was here”, instead of being lonely, I remember the reason why I said those words in the first place. That reason, that situation right then and there would be the things I wish to experience with my own children. Even with my father’s absence, I realized the father that I wanted, I realized the father that I wanted to be. I envision laughing with them, watching them grow up, being with them, giving support and guidance. I may not have understood the essence of Father’s Day when I was playing the role of the son; but I know one thing, I will treasure Father’s Day as a day well spent with my children.
I will give my children the one thing that I was deprived of. I will not just be their Father; I want to be their Dad.
“Anne Bradstreet.” 24 July 2010. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 24 July 2010.
“Anne Bradstreet.” 16 July 2003. 24 July 2010. ;http://www.annebradstreet.com/;
Bradstreet, Anne. “To Her Father With Some Verses.” About.com. 24 July 2010. ;http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/abradstreet/bl-abradstreet-toherfather.htm;