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Father’s Day Reflection: Patience and Playing Barbies

The Freunds at a family reunion in 1995: Josh (l.), Marabeth, Norm, and Gabe Freund.

My favorite devotion is to the Communion of Saints.

As living, breathing human beings, they faced adversity in their lives. And when push came to shove, they modeled behaviors that can guide us yet today.

Among the saints, one that is particularly inspirational to me is St. Joseph. Among other things, he is the patron of husbands and fathers.

In my own life, I have drawn on his example for both. St. Joseph was patient, faithful, trusting, just, and loving. I have worked to bring these values to my marriage, to parenting, and, most recently, to grandparenting.

Hesitant at first about the possibility of being a good father, St. Joseph inspired me through the person of my wife Marabeth, who assured me I would be a good dad.

I have discovered that parenting is like the weather: there are some storms as well as beautiful days, but the sunsets and sunrises far outweigh the times of challenge!

As they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2015, Marabeth (l.) and Norm Freund gathered with grandson Michael, daughter-in-law Angel, granddaughter Trinity, oldest son Josh, grandson Jorden, youngest son Gabe, daughter-in-law Beth, and granddaughter Hadley.

My wonderful sons, Josh and Gabe, are full grown now with families of their own. Among our six grandchildren (a seventh is on the way in September) three are adults and three are under seven years of age.

What a joy grandparenting has become! There are graduations, musical recitals, dance performances, sporting events, dinners out, birthdays, and much, much more.

I have learned how to go with the flow, “play Barbies,” and search for Rapunzel’s castle in Dubuque, Iowa.

Who would have guessed? Life is good!







This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Norm, your reflection touched my heart. I can so relate to finding “magical” places in Dubuque, Iowa. And to your devotion to St Joseph, patron of husbands and fathers. Happy Fathers Day💐

  2. Norm, thank you so much. I read all you said through the lens of my two brothers. I think they would be so grateful for the way you expressed the meanings of fatherhood. What a gift you are, to your family and us – your extended family.

  3. Norm,
    Thank you for your wonderful reflection. You will pass it on to your children by
    your words and actions.

  4. Norm, this reflection is a treasure and so are you as husband to Marabeth and as father and grandfather.
    Have a hearty family celebration!

  5. Thank you, Norm, for a very touching reflection and tribute to all fathers. I’m planning on sending it to a nephew with all girls and their Barbies, Happy Father’s Day,

  6. Norm, your fatherly love reaches out beyond your immediate family in a positive way, through your love, support, encouragement, and willingness to spend time with others. Happy Father’s Day!

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