Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father’s Day!! The following is a reflection written by Msgr Thomas Wells on June 8, 1997. It comes from the book, “From the Pastor’s Desk”, which is a collection of his writings.

“ The Wells are morning people. I call the homes of my family with reluctance after nine in the evening, but at seven in the morning, I can be certain of wide-awake receptions. This we get from my father. Any day, by 4:30 or 5:00, he would be at the breakfast table reading the morning paper before he went off to 6:30 morning Mass. I often chuckle about it now.

Many mornings I would wake up early and come downstairs just to be with him. How he must have enjoyed the peace and quiet, and how he must have dreaded hearing my footsteps, since he knew the non-stop questions and comments that would break his morning quiet. But I guess, in the mysterious ways of growing up, I must have sensed this was one time I could have time alone with him.

As he grew older (and probably read the magazine articles telling him how he should have been ‘father’) my father would sometimes say that he regretted that he rarely did the things fathers are “supposed” to do with their children: we never fished and we rarely played catch or took hikes together. He did try to help with homework; that was a disaster as he, the engineer, tried to help me, who even today cannot count beyond the number of my fingers, with math. What he tried hardest to do was to teach us how to think. The dinner table, especially as I got into junior and senior high school age, was torture. Nightly, we would be questioned (interrogated, I thought at the time) about what we learned in school and how this knowledge fit into the larger picture of life. Actually of course, my father’s questions were only props to enable him to launch into a nightly session into one or another aspect of life. Since he spent most of his day in the car going from one construction site to another, I suppose he had much time to reflect on various lessons needed to be learned by his children. It was awful!

I suppose our utter lack of response to or appreciation for his lectures must have frustrated my father from time to time; but, let me assure you, he was never deterred. The marvelous joke of it all, of course, is that, ultimately, he won. Unappreciated lectures are a big part of my job. I only pray that they are delivered with some of the love and concern for his children’s growth that motivated my teacher.”

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