Its dawn on dad’s day. The mind turns to all of those amazing father’s we’ve all met over the years. Like you, I know many who really invest time, love, instruction, guidance and fun with their child or children. Its a great example, one whose good qualities reminds us in a faint way of the Fatherhood of God.
My own dad was a classical kind of philosphy professor who did speaking at conferences, wrote and published. I think about the hours he spent day after day, working in his study. Before personal computers came on the scene, typewriters and handwritten notes were the common instruments for writing. Publishing articles or books before spell check – because there was no iMac, PCs smartphones or tablets – was an arduous and exacting task. Father spent the time to get it all just right.
Teaching before there were powerpoints and video, looking back, was perhaps more challenging then too. Blackboards and chalk, a lectern and your notes was all that stood before the crowded college classroom. I took one of my father’s university courses. I recall him starting the class by raising his hand high over his head, before an auditorium of hundreds at students at the University of Oklahoma, no microphone. No one ever said, “I can’t hear you.” He knew just how to project his great voice.
Hand raised, he bent his pinky finger. “If I can crook my little finger,” Dr. Kovach said, “then I know that there is a God!” He then went on to explain just how that bit of reasoning was done, using the classic moved-mover argument for the existence of an all powerful Creator.
My father went back to Europe to get his Ph.D., while mother cared for our family. He was the first summa cum laude graduate of the doctoral program from the University of Cologne, Germany – a 500 year old institution of higher education. To say he was bright is an understatement.
My dad never played baseball or threw a football with me. What fishing or boating took place as a kid, that was done with others. We did play a few games of chess. There was an annual family trip that lasted two weeks, and was mapped out well in advance using AAA’s TripTik (very different than GPS, Apple or Google Maps). We sped down the road from one pre-planned stop to another, keeping a precise schedule – even with a car full of kids – that would have made a German railroad proud. Mom made sandwiches in the back seat, all the goodies and fixings being kept in a cooler.
With so little time, how did my father influence me? Listening to conversations between my dad and his students, or other professors. Discussions on politics, ethics, history or religion. Meaty stuff! Listening to dad explain deductive reasoning and different forms of a syllogism. Dad taught by word and deed, discipline, dedication, planning and deep thought to arrive to a reason-based conclusion. Debate wasn’t a dirty word, and not everything that he said or did was politically correct.
Dad lived through World War II, helped his family escape the advance of Soviet Communists. He spent years in a DP camp (displaced persons, the refugee camps of yesteryear) until he legally came to the United States where I was the first one of his children born stateside. A college professor by trade, he shoveled snow and emptied bedpans to earn his family’s keep, until he got is first job teaching in an American college.
Anyone who knew my dad, knows he wasn’t perfect. But what he passed on was priceless. And between mom, dad and God, there is the precious gift of life itself.
To all those dads out there who like me are still playing catch up on fatherhood, take heart. Don’t give up.
To all those great dads out there, may your praises be sung for all eternity. To my own father, thank you. ##
Tony Kovach is nation’s leading publisher, consultant, trainer and expert witness leading to the rebirth of safe, appealing, affordable and eco-friendly modern manufactured homes. Tony is a proud part of the team that publishes MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and Inside MH videos, all divisions of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.