I was a student at North Georgia College in the mid-90s. The campus was about an hour’s drive from my parents’ home. Because my grandparents lived about half as far from school, I stayed with them during the school week, to make my commute shorter and cheaper. Then I went home on the weekends.
One day after class, I got to my car to head back to my grandparents’ and found a note from my dad, scribbled on the back of his business card and slid under my windshield wiper. He was a licensed professional counselor and was working that day in the area where my college was located.
Here’s the note:
He had taken time out of his schedule that day to weave through the large college parking lots and locate my car so he could let me know that he was thinking of me and loved me.
It has been over 20 years since I found the note on my car, and I have kept it secure in the bottom drawer of my jewelry box ever since. In other words, I have treasured it.
After my dad was killed in May, I searched through boxes and containers of “stuff” that we have stored in closets and behind knee walls. I was desperate for more written notes from my dad, specifically to me, telling me that he loves me. I found a couple of cards that he wrote to my husband and me early in our marriage, thanking us for contributing to his mission trips to Peru. He also wrote the inscription on a Bible that he and my mom gave me for Christmas one year.
I’m sure there are other notes from my dad that I have yet to find, but by and large the birthday cards and inscriptions and notes and such were written by my mom. Of course I treasure those also, but like all daddy’s girls, this one craves written affirmation and encouragement and love from her daddy.
My encouragement to dads today is to be intentional about writing notes to your children. Write on their birthday cards some of the time. Scribble an “I love you” on the napkin in their lunchbox. Keep a journal for each child, and write to them in it occasionally, telling them how special they are and what you enjoy about them (this is something that my husband and I have been doing since our children were born). If your children are already grown, mail them a “Thinking of You” card and tell them how proud you are of them and how much you love them. Those little intentional acts of love might mean the world to your children one day.
I realize that these sappy kinds of things come naturally to moms and not so much to most dads. And I know that life is busy and it’s easy to forego the little extras. But please take a few moments occasionally to write special things to your kids. Life is a vapor, and we never know if we will have tomorrow.
Thankfully, our Heavenly Daddy wrote many amazing love notes to us in His Word, and we can draw comfort and strength from them always.
Here are some of my favorites:
“The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
“For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”