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  • Writer's pictureTina Huggins

How'd Father's Day Get Started?

Father's Day...I have celebrated it all these years and never asked how it began. So, I looked it up just in case you don't know how it got started either.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington was listening to a Mother's Day sermon in her church in May of 1909. She decided she want to have a special day for her dad. Her mother had died during childbirth and her father was a Civil War Veteran. Sonora's father had raise her along with five other siblings. She wanted Father's Day to be on her Dad's birthday, June 5th and had petitioned for the holiday in her city. The Mayor of Spokane pushed the day to June 19th, 1910. Young women handed out red roses to their fathers during the church service. Congress was quick to officially declare Mother's Day the second Sunday in May in 1914. Father's Day took a little longer. It wasn't until 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge supported this day for Fathers, then in 1966, Lyndon Johnson issue the first presidential proclamation and finally in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the public law for a permanent holiday.

Dads come in all shapes and sizes...many are biological, some are what I call a bonus-dad, some are adopted into a family caring for a child who doesn't have a father. Any child that has one of these men in their life is indeed blessed. Billy Graham once said "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."

I love celebrating Father's Day. It is a great time to thank and love on the Fathers in our lives. My father was was a wonderful man and I miss him everyday. My husband, Mark is the father of two beautiful daughters and a bonus dad to my three children. My son, Greg is the father of a two year old. These men are amazing in so many ways.

My father took me on Father/Daughter trips...just the two of us. I remember traveling to New York City on one of his business trips. We had dinner at a fancy restaurant and went to Radio City Music Hall to see a show. It is one of many special memories that I have of my father. When my mother passed away, I would often have dinner with "Big D" at his favorite place to eat. We always walked hand in hand (like he did with my mother) down the long hallway to the dining room. I can still feel his hand curled around mine...he always made me feel safe and secure.

My middle child has always had a big heart and is one of the kindest men that I know. He is a terrific father to his daughter. He crafted a special wooden chair that she can climb upon and stand to watch the fish in their aquarium. They then move the chair to the kitchen when it is time to help him make blueberry muffins. He built her first swing set and holds her in his arms as they watch her favorite shows on TV. What a joy to hear the laughter that fills the room when they are together.

My grandson has a dad and a bonus-dad. His bonus-dad loves him unconditionally. They rock climb together and he is teaching him how to fly fish. They both love constructing legos and playing games. He reads stories to him at bedtime because my grandson loves the way he reads.

My husband is a wonderful father to his two girls and has embraced my three with much love and care. My kids love him and call him their Bonus Dad because he is available to listen, love and help whenever there is a need.

Not everyone has a positive experience or memory of their father which is brings much heartache. The Bible reminds us that we all have a Heavenly Father who is patient, compassionate, nurturing and wants to care for us. It has always comforted me to remember that God knows my heartaches and struggles. He knows each of our walks and will guide us through our darkest moments, often bringing a blessing when we least expect it. Just like a child reaching for his father, we can always reach out for our heavenly Father, who will always look after us. I know this to be true as I have seen it in my own life. How blessed I am to be in the presence of so many wonderful fathers!

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

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