Today is Father's Day, a day that always brings an ache to me. Those pies were for all the fathers in attendance.... and no, I don't think single guys should get something being given out for Father's Day......that would be weird and would feel patronizing or like pity..... but that doesn't take the sting away. (Why isn't there an uncle's or single's day, by the way?!)
Can I share one of my biggest hurts and regrets? It is never having the opportunity to be a dad. I would have loved to have been a father. I love kids, and the inability to never have my own has been a constant source of grief to me and I have cried more than a little at this void in my life.
And yeah, the marriage thing would be nice, and I feel that void also...... but there is that little thing about not being attracted to women; and you really need to be attracted to a woman to marry her and make it work.
So there is single-for-life me watching the other guys get pies. I sat there thinking about it, and something came to my mind. Maybe it was God speaking to me.....I don't think we give Him enough credit for the things that come to our minds. As I sat there feeling the sting of never being a father ad never getting recognition for being a father; I was reminded of the blessing that I do have of being an uncle.
My relationship with my nieces and nephews is closer than the average uncle. Since I have no kids of my own, nor have friends to hang out with; I have poured more love and money into these six great kids than I would have if I had had my own. I still buy all six Christmas gifts, give them something for Valentine's Day with a card, and give them money for their birthdays.
I have taken my nieces out to eat with me more times than I could count, and now that my nephews live so close to me I am taking them out. I even took all six kids out for pizza back before Christmas and loved it.
The hugs, the "I love you's", being told I am the best uncle or most awesome uncle in the world.... those are things that mean the world to me. These six not-so-small-anymore kids have been such a blessing and a source of healing in my life that no one would ever understand or realize.
I went on vacation for a week to the Outer Banks last week with my parents, my one sister and her husband, and my three nieces. I knew the girls wanted me to go pretty badly, and that is one reason I went instead of going to the Hope for Wholeness Conference that I have attended the last two years..... and I am glad I did. My nieces told my sister they were glad I went and that they wish they could see me every day......that is better than getting a store bought pie any day. Having my 12 year old nephew texting me and telling me at the end that I am the most best uncle in the world.....that is better than any recognition a church could give me.
Tomorrow is my second of two days off. I am going to Walmart to pick up a few things and am meeting my three nieces there. From there, we will go to Jalisco's, a Mexican restaurant we all enjoy. Uncle Mark will be paying and loving the opportunity to hang out with my three favorite girls, and I will be thankful that these two teenagers and one past her teens wants to hang out with their bachelor uncle...... and I will enjoy the great Mexican food.
So the church can keep their pies. I have something far better than any pie or other item they could give out: I have six great kids who call me Uncle and who love me. That is definitely better than a pie.
So as this Father's Day comes to a close, I will be thankful that though God did not work it out for me to have kids of my own, He gave me some great kids to love and be uncle to, which is almost as good as being a dad.