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A Slightly Different Father’s Day Perspective

fathers dayI salute all the great fathers out there today. If you are active in your children’s lives my hat is off to you. You Da Man!

Father’s day has always given me a bit of a heavy heart. I’m green with envy for those of you who have one. With all his flaws and quirks, you have a father. I didn’t have one growing up. Of course someone helped my mom create me, but they broke up before I was born. They were both 16 and marriage was not an option. I happened anyway. God has a funny way of bringing life into the world no matter what.

I met him once when I was 24 years old. His only comment to me was “you look a lot like my oldest daughter.”  My response was “well that would be because I AM your oldest daughter!”  Jackass.  All my life I’ve pondered the questions. Did he not love me, or was he just too young to realize what he did? Why has he never shown any interest in being a part of my life? Did he not want his “family” to know about me? I have sisters and brothers I’ve never met.  He lives or lived in the same town as me. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive.

It’s a thorn in my heart every day. When I get to the great beyond I intend the walk up to him and yell “HEY! What the hell was your problem anyway?” Are we allowed to yell in heaven?  Maybe that’s what purgatory is for – a place to get rid of any leftover post-mortem dirty laundry.

Did not having a dad skew my relationships with men? You betcha.  It took me decades to accept the fact that a man could be a permanent fixture in my life, not just some passing episode, or ship in the night, better not thought about often.

A dad’s input into choosing a man is important for young women, or so I’ve heard. Mine was strictly trial and error. Pretty much 47 years of errors until I found Mr. Right. Mr. Right is Mr. Husband of course. What attracted him to me other than his obvious fine self, evil sense of humor, intelligence, wit, sense of honor and integrity, was the fact that he had a mom and a DAD. One of those mythical creatures those other kids had living in their homes. Hubman’s parents lived together in the holy and hellish state of matrimony for over 50 years and raised 2 fine sons. One of which I am proud to call my mate.

To my mind this told me that at least Hubman had a role model for a stable, long-term relationship and valuable guidance from a man’s point of view. His dad became my father figure, and I loved every minute of it. He was always gentle and never yelled at me. And he did a lot of yelling. Mr. Husband can testify to that. The preceding 47 years of no father gave me a unique perspective. I knew that every minute was precious because he was up there in years and time was running out.

Sometimes I would get annoyed when he would comment on every little thing I thought or planned to do, but at the same time I loved it. It was a feeling of security and that an older wiser man had my back, and loved me no matter what stupid jam I got myself into because I thought I knew it all. A feeling I never had throughout my life.

I’m not dissing the importance of mothers and grandmothers at all here. But there really were no men in my family. Ours was strictly matriarchal. I know how to do and enjoy all kinds of girl stuff, but I know squat about football, team players, “working as a team” and all the other euphemisms that men and women know from growing up with men in their lives.

Mr. Husband’s father passed away 2 years ago between Christmas and New Year. We brought him home from the hospital in an ambulance so he could spend Christmas Eve with family and friends. A few days later he went to his reward peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family. The nurse commented that she had never seen a room so crammed full of family and that he knew he was loved. Of course he was. And he loved every one of us and worked hard his entire life to take care of his family.

Now he’s gone.  I grieved his passing not only for his loss, but for the fact that I lived almost my entire life without a father. Not a day passes that I don’t think of him, or wish I could ask him a question or get his advice. I ask him anyway. I know he’s listening.

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