A Father’s Love Will Never Fade Away
Reflecting on a horrendous experience brought home a powerful lesson about love that I want to share with you: Make time for your family—while you can.
It was the type of situation you don’t even dream about in your wildest nightmares.
“Your daughter has been involved in a horrendous car accident. Get there now! I don’t think she’s made it!”
I was inside a shopping mall when I received the call. I ran out, jumped into my car, and sped to the scene, only to find police cars with flashing lights all over the place, paramedics busy cutting the roof off the car with the “jaws of life” and, yes, the worst.
“Take a deep breath,” said a paramedic. “We have already declared her dead. I’m really sorry.”
In one second, my whole world had come crashing down upon me. The situation was unreal. It can’t be true. My lovely daughter … gone.
“Were there any passengers?” I croaked out.
“Yes,” said a policeman. “There were two preschool children with her. But they are unhurt. Thanks to the responsible attitude of your daughter, they were both in the back, wearing their seatbelts. That saved their lives.”
That typified my daughter, always careful to ensure others in her charge were safe at all times. She always showed love and concern for anyone she worked with or was responsible for.
Your most precious possessions are your family members—treasure them, spend time with them, share their lives and their joy as much as you can, while you can.Regrets
Then the regrets and recriminations started. I questioned myself: “Why did I always work so hard, working all the time, with no time for my kids? Why didn’t I take her in my arms more and tell her how much I loved her? Why didn’t I try to understand more when she had problems, encourage her to confide in me, and help her solve them? Why, why, why?”
Why is it that we take our dearest family members for granted all the time and fall into the age-old trap of “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”?
But the worst trap is the one that Satan sets, trying to keep us so busy that we don’t have time for anything except survival. He wants us to neglect our relationships with family, friends—and God.
What is the lesson?
Do it now—no one can tell what will happen tomorrow.
Your most precious possessions are your family members—treasure them, spend time with them, share their lives and their joy as much as you can, while you can. Tell them you love them at every opportunity! Leave them in no doubt how proud you are of them.
Your good friends are also a great treasure. But our friends tend to fall into the same trap we all do: being so busy surviving that we forget to call and visit. So you take the lead: call them, renew acquaintances. Invite them to dinner. Take the trouble—they will appreciate the attention! You would be amazed how people do respond when they begin to realize you are serious about building and maintaining strong relationships.
It’s about love
I remember when my daughter decided to become a Montessori schoolteacher. I asked her: “Why on earth did you choose this job? Are you happy wiping snotty noses and cleaning little kids’ backsides all day?”
She said: “Daddy, it’s not about cleaning them up—it’s about love. They are my children, and I really love each one of them, and they love me. I have a responsibility to teach them the important things in life—to love other people, to respect others and be honest, to help others and to bring a little happiness into their world whenever they can.”
I came to realize I could learn a lot from her attitude.
She had discovered the basic truth of the Bible: “For the commandments … are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9-10).
In the Love Chapter we read: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Life on this earth is fleeting
Let us be thankful for every precious second of life that we are granted. Let us enjoy and appreciate the company of others and tell them so. Let us love everyone we come into contact with, and let us help the needy whenever we can (Galatians 6:10).
In my sorrow, I thank God for my daughter and the blessing of being able to raise and care for her.
More than ever, I realize a father’s love will never fade away.