It is not unusual in today’s society to have more than one father in your life. Mine is no exception. They each, in their turn, have given me something for which I am eternally thankful; their unconditional love. What more can a daughter ask?
I started out with the “traditional” father. By traditional, I mean he was married to my mom and they created me. He is great! Not only did he give me unconditional love (and boy howdy! let me tell you, that was put to the test more than I care to mention) he taught me patience, as he waited for me to finally understand the power of family and what unconditional love really means. He gave me my love of all things geeky and technological and kitchen gadgets. He lets me pester him at work with stories of my goofy dogs or questions about how to cook a chicken with a beer can shoved up its butt. He has never minded that I always seem to have a “little project” in mind when he comes to visit. He has taught me, by example, to give of myself.
Another fellow came into my life when I was in my teens, although he didn’t become stepdad until I was already married. He was great, too! When I was a teen, my mom was trying to teach me how to drive her new car, which had a standard transmission. It was not going well. It’s hard enough to figure out the perfect timing of clutch and gas, and even more nerve wracking when you hear the whispers from the passenger “Oh! My new car! you’re going to drop the transmission in my new car. No, no, try again, it’s okay”. When we got home and the story was shared, this man, who had no kids of his own, took me out to the parking lot with his car and proceeded to teach me to drive a stick shift. In less than 15 minutes! It was several years after that, that I found myself divorced with three kids. When we moved across the country to be near them and couldn’t find a place to live, he didn’t bat an eye when the four of us moved in. And stayed for eight months. It was tight quarters. If that isn’t a lesson in family love, I don’t know what is! A couple of months before he passed away, he hugged me tight and told me I was a good kid. I’m glad I didn’t wear out my welcome.
When CGMan and I married (a day in which he became a father of three!), I got a new kind of father. A father-in-law! He is a wonderful man, too. Without hesitation, he became Papaw to three more grandkids. He accepted all of us as if we’d been part of the family forever. From taking kids on motorcycle rides and road trips to making squirrel feeders and planters, he has been a welcome presence in our lives. It is a true testament to our love of family that I can spend time with them, even without CGMan. I feel so comfortable and welcome in their nest.
For all the different kinds of fathers out there, I wish you the happiest of Father’s Days!