June 14, 2011

A Father's Day Story...

With Father’s Day approaching, I wish to honor the many fathers who have served their families with love and respect. When I coach husbands on how to love their wives, two principles I teach are a woman’s desire for loyalty and esteem (Love & Respect, pp 117-182).  Not long ago I received an email from a man who observed the practical application of loyalty and esteem at its absolute best. He shared this very stirring and meaningful testimony of his own father’s amazing example of loyalty and esteem towards his mother. I salute this truly great man, and I 
thank Jan Terbrueggen for the permission to share his father’s story.
I attended your conference this past weekend and appreciated it very much. Thanks for bringing this important, overlooked vision of relationships to light. I got to thinking about the Loyalty and Esteem section. My father modeled this amazingly well for my brother and me but I never fully appreciated the importance of that until you spoke of it Saturday.
Mom and Dad were married for 66 years. Mom contracted a lung disease that kept her tethered to a breathing apparatus for the last years of her life. She needed full time care, which Dad provided. He had always been a pretty religious man but the last few years of his life he started going to Mass 7 days a week. After he died we learned that the reason he'd been going to church so much was to make one simple prayer: that he be allowed to live 1 day longer than Mom.
Well, one day he went into the hospital. He fought, I mean really fought to stay alive, but it became clear that he wasn't going to make it. Turned out he had cancer and had been in a lot of pain, but he hadn't talked about it. Mom went to his bedside and told him it was ok for him to go, that she'd be alright, and he finally died. THAT is a model of loyalty and esteem. He not only would have died for her, he tried to stay alive for her.
Jan Terbrueggen
This Father’s Day, may I encourage all of you Dads who may feel you have fallen short of this noble example, that it is not too late to begin again? Don’t focus on your failures, but look to this Father’s Day as a new day to serve your family with love and respect. I salute you!

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