A father’s hand is steady and strong…guiding around the hills and valleys …tag along. The meaning of fatherhood reaches far beyond physicality. It signifies love, responsibility, dedication and commitment.

David . . . A Man of Few Words.  A Heart of Tenderness.

Going through stacks of papers to determine the ones to keep and the ones to throw away, a mother discovered a poem written by her daughter–a daughter who had passed away fourteen years earlier. As her eyes took in the words, a smile spread across her face as tenderness filled her heart.  This father played a central role in the last six months of the daughter’s life. He was there to prepare meals, listen to her words, see her struggles and bring joy when tears ran down her face.   The daughter had moved in with her parents as she waged a war against breast cancer.

Prior to her battle with cancer, she and her mother had worked in a joint business together, but when she was unable to work, the mother ran the business during the day and cared for her during the night, but her father was the tender loving caregiver during the day.

To David: The meaning of fatherhood means rejoining the Army to support your family . . . even if was not your choice in life.

The Poem – The Meaning of Fatherhood

A father is not a sperm

That unites with a chosen egg,

To form a little one

That fits his well bored peg.

A father is not a distorted mind

That jumps from flower to flower,

Leaving unattended blossoms

That yield a false sense of power.

A father is like a sturdy oak,

Standing tall and upright in the winds of life,

He unwinds the twists, handles the curves,

No matter the stress, no matter the strife.

He knew from the beginning

The way would be rough,

But he sharpened his wits

So he would be tough.

When the world beckons for him to jump ship,

He looks at the vessel with warmth and delight

Polishing, molding it with seeds that sprout

Into adulthood without a fight.

I salute all fathers, young and old,

Who’ve passed the test that ages foretold,

Stand tall, be proud, today is your day,

Speak loud! Be heard! You’ve got something to say!

Meta knew the meaning of fatherhood. She saw it in her dad.

Daughter Meta