Summer Reminds Me. . .

Just yesterday evening, I went to the new garden center that has recently been built not far from my house. If there is a garden center somewhere, be assured that I will go to it, and often.

Well, as I was browsing the plants, flowers, trees, planters, and seed packets, a packet with bright orange zinnias caught my attention. At that moment, I was transported back to a childhood memory of me and my daddy scattering zinnia seeds all over our front yard. The sunlight sparkled through the dense cedar trees at the edge of our yard, the stone path that circled around our front yard looked cool and ancient.

For a brief moment yesterday, my memory took me back to the mid-1960s when I was a child and all the world was safe and the summers burst forth in a kaleidoscope of brightly colored flowers, among them zinnias. Daddy still smiles at me down the passages of time, through the decades that have come and gone, and took him from me. He still is rooted deeply in my memory like a warrior spirit, always strong, always my protector. He exists forever, his hand cupping mine, pouring zinnia seeds into my waiting child-size palms. Those summer memories of my little finger digging into the deep, dark Georgia soil and dropping a zinnia seed into it has sustained me through the passing years.

Zinnias bursting forth in a colorful carpet across my yard remind me of love, of the absolute impact a father’s support and guidance has on a child. No matter what has ever happened in my life, the memory of my daddy encouraging me to plant those seeds in any way I wanted to, to think for myself, to decide what I should do, has sustained me. In planting those zinnias, he planted the seeds of confidence and self-worth inside his daughter’s soul. He told me to never let anyone tell me how to think, or what to think. He told me I am the decider; I am in control of my decisions. His words, like flowers, have taken root inside my heart and soul.

Yesterday, I planted my zinnias. Yesterday, I was reminded of the absolute importance of a strong, supportive father. Of course, he was not perfect; nobody is perfect. We all have flaws. But, in that memory from so very long ago, I remember him as perfect and that day as perfect.

Because at the moment in time, he was perfect.

And, that day was perfect. . .

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

In Praise of Fathers

It has been almost thirty-two years since my son was born.

This is a photo of my infant son and his father.

This photo brings back a lot of memories, some good, some not so good.

Time passed way too quickly.

I look at this photo and recall so many emotions and I at times wish I could go back to that moment and start all over again. But, with more wisdom.

Sadly, fathers are often pushed aside as if they do not matter.

But, they do.

Their presence in a child’s life is immensely necessary. A strong father can change a child’s life for the better. A strong father is a hero upon whom his family can depend.

Recently, I saw a quote that said the “future is female.” While I kind of understand the essence of this quote, I think it can serve to disparage young men.

Truth is that men and women are both equally important in the family and for the future of this world. To say “the future is female” implies that males have no place in the future, that they are not needed.

Males are needed to help nurture and protect future generations. They are of equal importance to females.

Fathers are irreplaceable in the hearts of their children.

Nothing quite stings like the absence of a strong father in the home.

While it is not yet Father’s Day, I would like to send a heart-felt thank you to all the strong fathers who stayed with their children and nurtured them rather than abandoning them.

Your courage and strength are needed more now than ever in this volatile world.

Sending much love and thanks to all the fathers who had/have the courage to protect their families.

Your love is irreplaceable.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2021