My siblings and I were adopted by two loving people who tried to do the best for us. We were lucky to have the opportunity to go to good public and private schools; have a nice home and vacations; and learn from two of the mother, father and teachers a child could have. Things could have been so different.
I had just turned 19 when my father died. My brother was 16, and my sister was 12. He was strict, but fair, and probably one of the smartest people I have ever known in my (now) long life. I still speak to him and ask for help and advice – and I believe he has helped me through some very difficult times.
Dad worked a lot, but he came home at night to laugh with us, and he was always available to answer questions. He took us to the circus, and showed us how to skate (photo of my brother and I with our dad). He was there to catch us when he took the training wheels off our bikes, and he showed us the right way to hold a baseball bat and throw a fastball. He also taught us what a good work ethic was, and how to be responsible for our own behavior.
Dad was passionate about life, and although he had one of the most severe cases of psoriasis you can have, never let this stop him from being liked and successful. These lessons we never forgot, and have passed them on to our children.
When I met my husband, Jerry, I already had a son, then 8. He accepted my son as if he were his own, and even after we had three children together he never showed favoritism between my older son and his birth children. He too died way too early – he was 38, and our children were 24, 14, 12 and 9. Our oldest son took over the role of father-figure for his younger siblings. This is what good role models do.
Often a father’s status in the family is one of breadwinner – and seldom more. They are not appreciated for their efforts because they may have never learned to show emotions. We are doing them a disservice is we don’t make the effort to try to get to know them while they are still here for us to do so.
All too often a father is simply a name on a birth certificate – or absent altogether. In those cases a mother will assume both parents’ roles; while some grandfathers, brothers or uncles may take up the slack. These father figures are so appreciated, and often taken for granted.
I read somewhere that some fathers are angry because their children are thanking their mothers on Father’s Day. Perhaps it’s because the father wasn’t in the picture very much, or was not available when the child needed him. Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances where the father was not allowed in the child’s life (and if this is because the mother is keeping them away – shame on her for being so selfish). No matter the circumstances, if the child feels the mother was both father and mother, there must be a reason.
My mother and I raised our children alone after our husbands died (and she was a great mother and role model as well), but we could not replace the fathers. We both were lucky the men in our lives established a good foundation prior to their early demise. My siblings and I, and my children, can now look at Father’s Day with fond memories of happy times shared.
Whether we realize it or not, a good father, one we can call “Dad,” impacts our lives in innumerable ways. They mold us, allow us to lean on them, and support us in all phases of our lives (even when we are not taking the right paths) with love.
To all the father figures in the world, we salute you. Happy Father’s Day.
#happyfathersday #fatherfigure #dad