legacy, men, fathers, leaders, heroes

The Greatest Legacy: A Father’s Love

Welcome to June’s Legacy Link Up! But First, Read Stacey Shannon’s account of a legacy of love. Link-up at the bottom.

By: Stacey A. Shannon

Catch Me When I Fall

One of my first memories of my dad is of him catching me. I was an accident-prone child. In the first five years of my life, I broke a bone each year during the most ordinary types of things. When I was 5, I fell off a big wheel and broke my right arm. It was the worst break of them all. I remember not long after, I had a big plaster cast on my arm and started to fall again – this time into the picnic table outside. Just before I hit, strong arms stopped me.

Strong Arms

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Stacey with her Dad

Throughout my entire life, those strong arms have been there to support me. Only now as an adult do I even begin to understand the sacrifice and strength behind my father’s love. My dad has always been a quiet guy. Growing up, he didn’t talk all that much, and he also didn’t smile all that much. He worked long hours. I just thought that was his personality. In middle school, I started learning more about his story. My dad, who had been drafted into the Vietnam War, was battling with PTSD.

Vietnam War & PTSD

I did lots of research about the Vietnam War and PTSD as a college student. As a magazine major, I had the freedom a few times to pick article topics, so I interviewed other veterans about what they had faced in the war and afterward. I heard snippets here and there from my parents, but not all that much. My dad also didn’t want to talk about Vietnam. It was a topic that was mostly off limits.

What I learned most from my research is how strong my dad really is. While I knew his physical strength, I didn’t quite understand his mental strength until I did research and talked to other veterans.

Dad Paid a Price

I didn’t know as a child the price my dad paid when we went to see fireworks each Fourth of July. I didn’t know how much energy it took for him to show up at every single school event in the midst of all he was dealing with. I didn’t know how much effort he had to put forth just to function and be a dad and husband.

I Never Doubted His Love

Of course, he wasn’t perfect and had his flaws. But never once in my life have I doubted my father’s love or his support. Not one single time. I nearly lost him when I was in my mid-20s. He had complications from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. It’s been 15 years since then and I continue to be grateful for every moment we have together. I am grateful to be able to see him love on my children, who were born a few years after his accident.

Almost Lost Him

His accident gave him a second chance on life. He was able to be freer from his PTSD struggle than he has been since he returned home from the jungle. He still deals with effects of PTSD, but he smiles much more easily these days and talks more often. He plays with my children, my niece and nephews and loves them fiercely, just as he always has my brother and me.

Legacy of Love

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In the midst of pain, my dad has created a legacy of love. His love helps me understand the sacrificial love of my heavenly Father. I see the sacrifices he made (and know there are plenty I know nothing about) to love his family and provide for us in every way even when it was costing him significantly.

That love is what I want to pass on to my own children. I don’t struggle with PTSD, but I have my own challenges through chronic health problems. I hope and pray my children will never doubt my love or support, just as I have never done with my father. That is a legacy I want to pass on for generations to come.

That love is what I want to pass on to my own children. #legacyoflove #leavingalegacy #legacylinkup Click To Tweet

Stacey Shannon @

Families with Grace, Stacey Shannon

It’s Your Turn

Legacy Linkup
Join the Link UP June 10-30

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Link-ups Coming Summer of 2019

MAY – Legacies of Women Click through to read the posts!

JUNE – Celebrating Men with Legacies – You are here now!

JULY – Leaving a Legacy Through Blended Families

AUGUST – Leaving a Legacy Through Adoption

Be ready to share your stories with us.

Mandy Farmer
A Father's Love: Legacy Link-up #legacylinkup Click To Tweet

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13 thoughts on “The Greatest Legacy: A Father’s Love

  1. Barbara Harper says:

    I loved reading this! My father served in the Korean war era. He never talked much about his years in the service, and not much was known or said about PTSD as I was growing up. I wonder how much that may have affected him and contributed to some of his issues. He passed away several years ago. I’m so thankful your dad was able to be a support for you.
    Barbara Harper recently posted…Studying the Parts to Understand the WholeMy Profile

  2. Karen Friday says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Stacey. I’ve never broken a bone, didn’t have stitches until I had a baby. Love the image of your dad being strong and catching you. And grateful for his service to our country. All the things you point out about him catching you, being strong, and his love reminds me of our heavenly Father. I pray he has a wonderful Father’s Day!

    • Stacey Shannon says:

      Thanks for reading, Karen! You are right in the way his love is like God’s love. I am so thankful and blessed to have a good father on earth to model love for me.

    • Stacey Shannon says:

      It is hard, but God is able and God is good! I wish that PTSD in veterans was addressed and dealt with better than it is. We’ve made some progress but not nearly enough. I will be praying for your family member!

  3. Lauren Sparks says:

    The new wave of feminists would hate to hear me say this, but having a strong and loving daddy sets a young lady up for a healthy and successful life. laurensparks.net

  4. Bev @ Walking Well With God says:

    Thank you for sharing this tribute to your father. Our earthly fathers give us our “first impressions” of what our heavenly Father might be like. That’s a hard role to fill. It sounds like your dad, especially under the duress of PTSD, did a great job in pointing you to the Heavenly Father above. Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx
    Bev @ Walking Well With God recently posted…The Hazards of “Future-Tripping”My Profile

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