Last week we held our Father-Daughter Mass. It allowed us to reflect on the wonderful role that our dads play in our lives. I wanted to share with you the speech that I delivered.
Last month my family and I commemorated the 9th anniversary of my Father’s death. His absence in our lives is still felt day to day because his love, humour, wisdom and mercy were the hallmarks of this great man.
My Dad wasn’t famous, nor did he have a powerful job that earned a lot of money. He was a family man, who was orphaned early in his life and took responsibility for the many brothers and sisters he had. He bravely moved them, with his young bride (my Mum) and my brother, then aged 2 years old from Egypt to Australia back in the 1950s for the promise of a better life. Like many men in his generation, he was a pioneer for this developing country we call home. Creating that better life was achieved and my Dad died with an intense love for Australia and what it could provide for his family.
My father wanted for his children, what every father wants - that they are provided for, well-educated and able to take their rightful place in Australian society or indeed in a global society. He wants to see his children succeed and especially be happy and content with the life choices that await them. He wants to know that when hard times fall on his children, they will come to him for support, and when they cannot do this, they will have the capacity and resilience to come through those times and bounce back to life.
The love between a father and his children is sometimes unspoken and sometimes challenging for both the grown man and his children – particularly when his children become teenagers. It is difficult to acknowledge that his little girl has become quite the young woman, in what seems to be a blink of an eye.
I offer you this, as one who misses her dad often - treasure the moments, not just the highlights. Treasure today with us at OLMC…take it all in and remember it, share the story of today with those in your family this evening and beyond. Girls, take a visual snapshot of your dad’s face today and dads do that with your daughters too…so you’ll hold dear to your hearts that you shared this moment…today in your wonderful and ever-changing relationship as father and daughter.