Facebook is alive with Father's Day wishes, today. I love reading all the great sentiments people are sharing. I love that Dad's are getting the right attention -that people are recognizing the importance of having a Dad in your life.
I had two Dads. The Dad I grew up with is no longer with us. When I read the fond memories people post on their blogs and Facebook, I have to admit that I agree with all of them. But, they don't really reflect me or my relationship with my 1st Dad.
My 1st Dad will always be the man I think of as "dad". Not everyone likes it that I credit him with that - he came into my life when I was a toddler and until I was 12, he was my Dad. I had not inkling of his not being my Dad. Come my 12th birthday, and I was informed that the man my two older sisters lived with... was my Dad. Now, it can be said that I should have figured that out - after all, why did they, two full-blooded sisters, live elsewhere than with me and my mother and 'father'? Well, because our father was their father and that's where they lived.
It's complicated. I was shocked to discover the man I'd called "dad" all my life ... wasn't my Dad. And, even more shocked that the man who was my "dad"... had never made any indication that he was my dad. More complications. To this day, there is an aura of mystery around it all.
Time moves along, regardless. My "dad" passed of cancer and my other "dad" became the "dad" in my life, as he should have been all along. I don't have answers on why he and my mom kept that key information from me - and at this point in life, the only important thing is to acknowledge that I have been blessed with two men who are Dad to me. One is still here, and one is not. One is a fond memory, one... is slowly moving away, suffering the effects of alzheimer's disease... both are precious to me in different ways.
Here's the scoop - being a dad is more than allowing society to slap a label on you. It's more than showing up at a recital or graduation. It's more than putting food on the table, buying you new sneakers, or blowing up balloons for your 1st birthday party.
Being a Dad is - hands on, emotional involvement, and unconditional support. I didn't say "love" on purpose. Love is something you earn. Many Dads are loved. Others are not. Many kids are loved, others... not so much.
I'm happy to celebrate this fine day by remembering (via pics we have and my own memory banks), the Dad who held my hand as a little girl, who helped take care of me, and who stood by me during many trials and tribulations. And, I'm happy to celebrate the Dad who stepped up and embraced me with all the love and affection of his whole being - and who welcomed me into his heart and his arms, without pause. He's shown here - I have yet to scan pics of my 1st Dad, but I will. For you - obviously, I remember him clearly...without an pictures or scans.
Ain't life great?