More Than Just a Big Weekend Sale

by Josh Gamboa

This Sunday (18 June) is Father’s Day. It’s a day to honor the men who nurtured, guided, mentored, sacrificed for, and led many of us through our lives. The tradition of celebrating fathers dates back to 1909, when Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, WA campaigned locally to establish a holiday for fathers equivalent to Mother’s Day. After contacting local churches, YMCA’s, businesses, and government officials, Sonora got her father the holiday he deserved. On June 19, 1910, Washington celebrated the first statewide Father’s Day.

Personally, I’ve never observed father’s day and it has never meant much to me. I met my father for the first time when I was 19 years old and home on leave from the army. I saw my father a total of five times in my life before receiving a Red Cross message stating that he had suffered a stroke and would not live much longer. I got on a plane that evening and the next day he passed. Before then and since then, I have held a selfish, bitter resentment towards the day because it reminded me of a huge void in my life where my father belonged; however, this year is different. This Father’s Day is the first that I will observe as a father.

EVERYTHING has changed since the birth of my beautiful daughter. Through her short eight months on this earth, she has changed me in countless ways and for the first time I am seeing Father’s Day in a new light. It no longer serves as a reminder of what I never had, but as a reminder to be the father that my daughter will want to joyfully honor in the years ahead.

I want to be a Father that she can’t wait to buy ties and socks for.

I want to be the Father that she can’t wait to surprise with a partially burnt cake that she made all by herself.

I want to be a Father that leaves an honorable legacy of Fatherhood like Sonora Smart Dodd’s Father did.

I want to be a Father that is worthy of her.

I see a myriad of examples every day that mirror the type of father I want to be, and I am overwhelmingly thankful for all of the fathers who have done this before me. I can’t wait to say “Happy Father’s Day!” to them this Sunday. I wish I could meaningfully convey how much it means to me to see the pictures they post on Facebook of them dancing with their daughters or hunting with their sons. Each time I see a father lovingly sacrificing for their children, I am reminded of the profound calling that has been gifted to me as a Dad. I want to thank and congratulate all of the fathers reading this, and humbly offer my own selfish and bitter tale as a reminder of the legacy this day represents, as well as the legacy it calls us to.

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