Today (Day 161) is Father’s Day. It is a day set aside to honor, recognize and celebrate fathers. To be honest, I really used to despise this ‘holiday.’ It represented something I did not have . . . A Father. But now? Now, I gladly recognize and celebrate this day for my husband.
This man entered my life in November 1997. We married in April 1998. In him, I found someone who not only took on me and my excess baggage, but willingly too on and raised three children not of his blood as if they were. He has never made the distinction between biological or step. He only refers to them as his children.
My husband loves all five children unconditionally. If they are in need, he is there. No questions asked. They all know it.
It takes a really special man to step up to the plate like that. Back in the early 20th Century when divorce was still extremely frowned upon, my great grandfather married my great grandmother. She was a divorcee. She had been married twice. She had six children; three from each husband. He was an exceptional man. He loved each as if they were his own. Sadly, he passed before I could get to know him.
Then there’s my father-in-law. When he married my mother-in-law, she was a divorcee thrice over. He took on and raised her five children. Then surprise of all surprises, they were blessed with two of their own. My husband great respect and admiration for my father-in-law. My father-in-law was and is my husband’s role model. I could not ask for a better man . . . In either one of them.
Then there are the single parents. Single parents hold a special place near and dear to my heart. Single parents are both Mom and Dad. It is a hard job but the rewards cannot be quantified. I called my MoMma today. I wished her “Happy Father’s Day.” For 23 years she was both mother and father to her five children. She was my role model when I became a single parent.
Sometimes I think about the television series such as “The Rifleman,” “Bonanza,” “Leave It To Beaver,” “My Three Sons,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Family Affair,” and “Good Times”. Their portrayal of fatherhood is SO not real. Fatherhood on those shows are idyllic. They paint a “perfect” picture. Sadly, the reality of it could not be further from the truth.
Not everyone is blessed with a father or a positive male role model, for that matter. Not everyone has positive and fond childhood memories of their father. For those who are blessed and do have positive memories, cherish them . . . The fathers and the memories. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, stepfathers and single parents.