Father’s Day — Musings of A Dad

A father is a man of resilience, a steadfast lighthouse guiding his children through life's tumultuous seas.

3 mins read
Sirjan, Kerman Province, Iran [Parizan Studio/Unsplash]

Written for my sons Vishesh and Ayush

In the shelter of my presence,
you traversed this world,
seeking my protection.
Never did I lead you into woods
without a path to bring you back,
nor did you glimpse fear in my gaze
when I stood by your side.
I embraced life fully,
taking you along every journey.
I spoke of your essence,
crafted from mountains and streams,
from distant seas,
from the snow’s pure embrace,
and the sun’s fiery kiss.
United, like a mighty gust,
we stirred the roots of existence
to the tiniest branches.
Though I fulfilled my promises and will find my rest,
I know I await your arrival in my safe embrace
once more. ~ Extracted from an original poem by the author

Father’s Day falls on the 16th of June every year. It is a poignant reminder of the love and strength that fathers bring into our lives. It is a day to celebrate the unwavering support, the guidance, and the sacrifices they make for their children. For many, it is also a time to reflect on memories and the lasting impact their fathers have left on their hearts.

A father is a man of resilience, a steadfast lighthouse guiding his children through life’s tumultuous seas. From their earliest memories, his presence is a bedrock of comfort and security. Whether they were exploring dense forests or scaling rugged mountains, he was never afraid. He was always there, leading the way, his unwavering confidence a beacon of safety and strength.

Their bond is forged through countless adventures, each journey a testament to his boundless love and dedication. They traverse continents, sail vast oceans, and marvel at nature’s wonders. Each step they take together is in harmony with the world around them. The father’s assurance, “You are made of the mountains and lakes, of oceans far and wide, of the winter’s white snow and the summer’s red sun,” will resonate with them after he is gone.

These words will be more than just a reminder of his strength; they are a bond between them, a connection that transcends time and space. Together, they face life head-on, unafraid of the challenges that lay ahead. They are like the great wind, shaking the roots of the tree of life, embracing every moment with fervor.

A father’s love for a child is profound, a blend of pride, protection, and an overwhelming desire for his happiness. He marvels at their curiosity and courage, feeling a deep sense of fulfillment in guiding them through life’s mysteries. His joy comes from watching them grow, learning to navigate the world with the wisdom and strength he imparted.

But life is an unpredictable journey, and even the strongest bonds are tested. A father falls ill, a sudden storm in their otherwise clear skies. The child watches as the man who had always been his rock begins to fade. He kept his promises, never showing fear, always holding his hand, even as his strength waned. For the father, the hardest part is not his own suffering, but the thought of leaving the children without his guiding hand.

On his final night, the child would sit by his bedside, his heart heavy with unspoken words. The father would smile weakly, his eyes still shining with the love and pride he held for them. “I will not rest,” he whispered, “until you reach my safe arms once again.”

Those would be his last words. The house would feel emptier, the world a bit dimmer, but the child would hold on to his promise. He would continue to live with the courage and zest his dad had instilled in him, knowing his dad was with him in every step he took. For Dad, knowing that his boy would carry on with the strength he had given him would bring a sense of peace as he faced the end.

Years will pass and the children, now men, will find themselves in a familiar forest, holding their children’s hands. As they walk, they will feel a presence beside them, a gentle reminder of the bond that death could not sever. They will smile, knowing their dad was with them, guiding them as he always had.

One night, as my child tucks her child into bed, he will feel a warmth envelop him. He will close his eyes and see his dad, strong and vibrant, his arms open wide. He will run to him, feeling the safety and love that had always been there. In that moment, he will have kept his promise. They will be together again, in a place where time and distance cannot separate them.

“Je t’aime, Papa,” he will whisper into the night. And for the first time since his passing, the dad will feel at peace, knowing their bond was eternal.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Dr. Abeyratne teaches aerospace law at McGill University. Among the numerous books he has published are Air Navigation Law (2012) and Aviation Safety Law and Regulation (to be published in 2023). He is a former Senior Legal Counsel at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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