Legacy and Father’s Day

Father’s Day is often not held up to the same standard as Mother’s Day. While Father’s do not go through the pain of child birth, they are an important elements of a family and the way a child is raised.

My Father has been gone for only 30 years and it is difficult to even think of him without a tear in my eye. My Father was simple but complex to me. He often would act like the tough guy, especially if we antagonized to spank us. Or should I stay… I would say “I dare you to come and get me.” Well sure enough he would. When 16, he was in his 60’s he caught me and spank me. So I was never to old for being disciplined.

So many men and women today – who grew up without a father image can tell you. They missed something! Doesn’t mean that everyone that grows up without a Father becomes a drug addict. It just means that they grow up without seeing the dynamics of a loving marriage and family life. Men do seem to have a need to be taught what a “real” man should be or do. Being a Father is only a term that describes “fatherhood”, you produced a child! Being a “dad” is really a term of endearment that means you worked hard on the relationship.

Dr. Wade Horn, PhD, Past President of the National Fatherhood Initiative states:
“Today, 1 out of every 3 children in America is living in a home without his or her natural father. Think of that. One out of every 3 children in America will go to bed tonight without a father to read them a story, bring them a glass of water, kiss them good night, or comfort them if they have a bad dream.”

“In Dads and Daughters,” advocate Joe Kelly explains that a father’s relationship with his daughter is important because he’s the first man she’ll get to know in life. In other words, he’s the standard for what she’ll expect of a man and lifelong partner. Kelly, who is the executive director of Dads and Daughters, a national nonprofit organization based in Duluth, MN, encourages fathers to listen to their girls and — just as they would with their boys — be physically active with them. “A father who plays with his daughter — shooting hoops, kicking a ball around, taking walks together — is making a payment on an insurance policy that she’ll grow up to be confident and strong,” he says.

Frank J. Matzen, Jr was a hard working man, who raised 8 children. His first wife died and left him to raise 5 children, those were difficult times, but in the end – he kept his family together. He married my mother and took on her daughter and had two more daughters after that. Lucky for me I was one of the two younger daughters.

Some people today do not remember my Dad, but they are the legacy of his life. I have nieces and great-nieces, nephews, great-nephews and others in my family that will never know him. They may hear stories of him and how he lived, but knowing him was a honor and privilege for many of us. He left the legacy of Mark Matzen, who is the only boy out of the family to carry on the name. Strange out of all those children and all those grandchildren – only one, but Mark has two sons and they will continue the name on too.

The name isn’t as important as the thinking and philosophy of life he gave. He was old school, a great example was having his daughters learn to drive. He didn’t think we needed that skill. I was determined to learn to drive, but he made it difficult. He didn’t want me to go into the Military, he made that difficult too, but I ended up going in the end. He loved me as he loved all his children, but he didn’t make it easy for us. We all worked hard and the legacy is that now his great grandchildren do too.

Happy Father’s Day – Dad – you definitely earned the Title of “DAD” – many of your older grandchildren – called you “Papa Dude.”

Thanks for making me memorize “The Lord’s Prayer”, Psalms 23 and talking to me when I needed someone to talk too.

See you again some day.


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