June 14, 2006

The Fathers in my Life

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. This post is about the fathers in my life. You see, I've had five. The first, of course, was my biological father (left). He and my mother divorced when I was only 3 years old (1974). Therefore, I never remember living with him. And, although I grew up only 1 mile away from him, we never had the father/daughter relationship that every Hallmark card seems to portray. I was never "daddy's little girl." He remarried soon after the divorce and had a new step-daughter and, soon, a new son. I did spend time with him and my step-mom, but we've never been really close, unfortunately.
The next "father" in my life was my first step-father (right). He and my mother married when I was 5 years old (1976). He was the ideal dad...so much so that I even called him daddy. On my school papers I would even write his last name as my own. His parents welcomed me and my two older brothers as their own grandchildren. We had a wonderful "family" until around 1984 (when I was 13 years old). I came home from school one day and was told that he and my mother were getting a divorce. What? Just because they no longer wanted to married meant that he would no longer be my dad? How unfair was that?
It wasn't until 1994 that my mother remarried again (left). By this time I was 23 and had been married for 3 years myself. However, he and my mother seemed truly happy. We welcomed him with open arms. They are still married and he's been a step-father from a distance. My husband and I have always lived at quite a distance from them. I consider my father-in-law (below) as another "father." I dropped the "in-law" part years ago. He's been in my life for 15 years, which is more than any of the others really. He means a lot to me. I know I could count on him 100% if I ever needed anything. I'm so very blessed to have My father-in-lawsuch a wonderful man in my life. Lastly, comes the one constant in my life...my paternal grandfather (Papaw). He was the one man in my life who has been there for me from birth. He never faltered, never wavered and most importantly never left me. He provided food, shelter and clothing for me in times of need. He set a positive, Christian example for me. He spoiled me and loved me unconditionally. He was the main father figure in my life until he was called home by God on May 24, 2005. Without his guidance I would not be the person I am now. I miss him terribly
but am thankful that God let me borrow him for 34 years. You see, when Father's Day rolls around each year, it's tough for me. They don't really make cards to fit my situation with all of my dads. I do send my "real" dad a card...usually just a funny one...that's all that fits. None of this..."when I was little you were always there for me," or "I'll always be your little girl." To my first step-dad, I still send cards too. He was a very important figure in my life during my formative years. I still talk to him once or twice a year as well. My current step-father gets one too. Boy, it's getting harder and harder to find those step-dad cards! My father-in-law definently receives one thanking him for being the wonderful man he is. And, up until last year, my grandfather always got a very special card. He got the "like a father to me" card. I would gush on and on about what he meant to me. I just wanted to make sure he never doubted my love and appreciation for him. Oh, there's one more "dad" in my life...my husband. He's a fun and amazing father to our two boys. I'm extremely grateful that our children will grow up knowing one, and only one, really great dad. Some people may think that I should feel lucky to have had so many "fathers" in my life. I don't know about that. Don't get me wrong, I love each of them in a special way, but the little girl inside of me just wishes I could have grown up being "daddy's little girl" and having him tearfully walk me down the aisle at my wedding. But, this is the hand I was dealt, so I've become acustomed to it I suppose. Anyway, happy father's day to all of my fathers, both here and the really special one in heaven. I love you and will see you soon!

**I read this years ago on a church's sign and it has stuck with me: "Any man can father a child, but it take a real man to be a father!"

1 comment:

  1. That was a nice tribute to all your fathers. I liked the pictures too.

    The first fathers day after my grandpa died (1999) was weird. It was strange to buy cards but to leave him out. I really wanted to buy great grandpa cards from my kids, but we missed out on that.

    Thanks for sharing.


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