Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Father's Heart

I remember the day I became a father. It was 23 years ago today. My wife had been in hard labor for 18 hours when the doctor recommended a c-section. At that point she was open to anything that would end the pain. An hour later I was introduced to the most amazing little girl I had even seen - before or since. Lisa was 9 pounds, 2 ounces of beautiful! She had the fullest head of hair I’d ever seen on a new born. I was instantly in love.

In my enthusiasm I was running up and down the maternity ward hallways celebrating with anyone & everyone the birth of daddy’s little girl. The nurses finally corralled me and sent me home. They told me it would be a few hours until my wife was awake enough to realize I was even there.

Driving home from the hospital a cascade of thoughts flooded my mind. I had just met this little girl and knew instantly that I was gladly lay down my life for her. I was stunned by the powerful intensity of this new love. Not that love was new to me, I had loved before. I loved my parents and of course I loved my wife. But this love, this was a new kind of love, equally as intense but different. This brand new, only a few hours old love seemed to require an entirely new category within my heart. This wasn’t a son’s love for his parents. It wasn’t a husband’s love for his wife. Both powerful loves to be sure but this was different, this was a father’s love for his little girl. And it was rockin’ my world I had to wonder, had anyone, anywhere ever love a child like I loved my Lisa? At that point, I wasn’t quite sure, we’re talking about an extremely intense love!

Somewhere along Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn it hits me, like a baseball bat to the head, could my parents have actually love ME like this? I knew they loved me but did they feel for me what I was feeing for Lisa? No way, this was freaking me out. As I removed my foot from the accelerator of my tan two door 1976 Plymouth Duster, I began to coast to a stop. If they actually loved me this much it changed everything. Suddenly their stock rose in my heart. And at just about the point my sleep deprived brain was grasping this concept the next wave it. How much greater was God's love than all of this?

I love my parents and I’d just newly discovered the depth of their love for me... in light of this new love birthed simultaneously with my daughter. I’m stunned at the vast immensity of this love when it hits me – God’s love for me IS greater than all of this newly revealed, newly birthed love combined. Wow!

In the past 23 years I’ve learned that the father’s love always gives, always listens, always believes and always forgives. It always hugs and always prays. It sometimes laughs and it sometimes cries. I’ve discovered that daddy’s little girl will always be daddy’s little girl no matter how many birthdays pass. I’ve discovered that when ever I get confused about The Father’s heart toward me, all I have to do is listen to our special song (Butterfly Kisses), see her smile or hear her call my name and I remember how great The Father’s love truly is.

Happy Birthday Lisa, your birth radically changed me that day, thank you. I love you now and I’ll love you always, Daddy.

© Tom Zawacki 2006


  1. Your love for our daughter moves me. She is blessed for having you as her father. I'm blessed because I get to spend the rest of my life with you.

    Forever yours,

  2. aawwww geeezzz... you're a good guy Zawacki! Thanks for sharing your heart...

  3. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Tom WOW!!!! I know the feeling all to well. Just from someone you know,,, Have a great b-day Miss Lisa

  4. Back at it I see. I am looking forward to reading from your heart and mind again.