The idea for an official Father’s day celebration came to Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd during a Sunday sermon on mother’s day in 1910 in Spokane, Washington USA. Mrs Dodd’s father William Jackson Smart, raised her and her five brothers alone following the death of her mother during childbirth. Mrs Dodd felt the hardships that her father had endured called to mind the unsung feats of fathers everywhere. Her proposal to celebrate Father’s Day received strong support from the town’s ministers and members of the YMCA. However the observance of a national father’s day was not endorsed or accepted so quickly as mother’s day was.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson and his family personally observed the day. It wasn’t until 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge recommended that states, could hold their own Father’s Day observances. Many people attempted to secure official recognition for Father’s Day over the years but it wasn’t until 1972, sixty-two years after it was first proposed that Father’s Day was permanently established by President Richard Nixon.
In some countries red roses worn signify that one’s father is living, whilst white roses signify that one’s father has died.
Father’s day is bittersweet for me. I see my husband gain much pleasure from opening the father’s day stall gifts from school and spending time with our 3 children aged under 10. He knows & respects it is a great privilege to be a dad.
Father’s Day is also a reminder to me and many others that our father’s are no longer with us. I lost my dad 2 ½ years ago. For as long as I can remember, my dad was part of a team, fighting for some cause or a volunteer of some description. He was always passionate, considerate, loyal and dedicated. Dad could never sit still, he was always on the go doing something for someone. Dad always stood up for what he believed in and was never afraid to say so. I loved and admired that fighting spirit about him.
Probably up until the last year of his life he was still writing letters of complaint or suggestions and always handwritten. Even at 84 he was completing computer courses and doing volunteer work at the hospital.
My dad was my inspiration for my business ‘Leave it with me’. An admin & support service for seniors. Bureaucracy, filling in forms, dealing with government departments drove my dad crazy, so he would have found it most amusing I began a business exactly because of this reason. I launched my business on his anniversary date in February in memory of him.
My dad had a good innings and I’m grateful to have had so many wonderful years and times with him and on Sunday I can celebrate that with a toast to him and shed a tear that I can’t have a drink with him and have a laugh about an old story. Dad always said he would make it to 86 and that’s it. He had 4 brothers and 3 of them had also passed away at 86. A few months before 86 he took me on a trip back to Perth to revisit his home and family, he called it his farewell tour. Sure enough within 6 months, and 2 weeks after his 86th birthday he passed away. Whether he lost the will or just knew, who knows….
In the words of Margaret Truman. It’s only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home….. it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love.
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong – Charles Wadsworth.
So whether you are sharing the day or reflecting on your memories with your dad, happy father’s day to all the dad’s out there and up there.
The picture above was taken of my beautiful dad Bob on his ‘farewell tour’ to Perth September 2010.