A salute to all fathers who show a reflection of the Almighty Father’s love in the toughest of times

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Editor’s note. Father’s Day is June 20. Over the next week, we’ll continue running stories which will include new and old stories about men and abortion, often in the context of crisis pregnancies but also just about being a dad). 

As we approach Father’s Day, I cannot help thinking of the tremendous difference my father made in my life.

He proved the steadfastness of his love while I was still safely tucked away in my mother’s womb. Since he was unemployed at the time, he could have easily pressured my mother to “get rid” of the newest financial challenge, meaning me. But he did not. He would not. He was a stand-up guy, even in the midst of tremendous adversity.

He showed his love again on the day of my birth. My mother did not make it to the hospital in time so, with a doctor on the phone line as his coach, my Air Force veteran Dad delivered me. He often reflected on that moment, and his awe at the miracle of birth.

He demonstrated his love when I was a toddler, taking care of me while my mother worked. He was a phenomenal caregiver, and showered me with devotion.

His love was apparent throughout my schooling, encouraging me and often telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He believed in me and my dreams and was a constant source of enthusiasm with every “A” I earned.

At my high school graduation, after I delivered my valedictory speech, he was the first person to stand and applaud. I always knew I had a fan, with him in the audience.

During my pregnancy, he was gentle and sweet with me, always showing respect and courtesy for the life I had within me.

But it was as a grandfather that he truly blossomed. He loved his beloved granddaughter with all his soul. In my mind’s eye, I can still see him, pretending to play a replica of a violin, while my preschool daughter watched, fascinated at the display. They had a unique bond which made them pals from the start.

Complications from diabetes caused my father to leave this earth much earlier than he had expected. I grieve his passing to this day. But I cherish the memory of him, and the fatherly care he bestowed upon me.

So this Father’s Day I plan to engage in activities that pay tribute to his memory, a memory that time has not extinguished. And I salute all fathers who, like my Dad, show a reflection of the Almighty Father’s love in the toughest of times.