By Ralphine Major

It is the holiday that arrives just about the time summer itself does.  Merged between Memorial Day and the festive Fourth of July, it is the day we celebrate and honor fathers.  I often say that mothers are the fabric that hold our homes together.  Fathers are the ones who guide and give direction to our families.

I grew up a farmer’s daughter.  Our father was a dairy farmer, so we had animals—lots of animals!  Big tractors pulling farm wagons stacked high with hay bales were our way of life.  We had plenty of the traditional farm animals like horses, cattle, chickens, and pigs—and even some rabbits and turkeys.  It was an exciting time when a new colt we named Firecracker was born on the Fourth of July or when a new baby calf was born.  A few years ago I ran across a log cabin our father helped me build for a history project; he even bought a pair of guinea pigs for my science project.  In the early seventies, he traveled all the way down to Hardin Valley to get a Boston Terrier pup for my brother.  Mother still recalls the time he went to west Knox County to get my brother and me a Siamese kitten.  He came back with three!

Our father is no longer with us.  Ralph O. Major passed away from heart disease in 1994 at the age of 68.  His birthday often fell on Father’s Day, and on June 21 he would have been 89 years old.

For many reading this column, their fathers have also passed on.  It is the memories that we hold onto that bring us moments of joy when we think of them.

On this day, may we honor young fathers raising families; older fathers watching their families grow; military fathers who defend our freedom; and fathers who provide leadership in our homes, churches, schools, and communities.

As we honor our earthly fathers, may we remember that we have a heavenly Father who cares for us; and that is something to celebrate every day.  “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”  Psalm 103:13.