Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day... With a Wry Twist

This is going to be an interesting little thank you note. I got the idea the other night while talking to my friend, who also was my recruiter in Norfolk. Thanks for the inspiration, Petty Officer.

Fathers. I've had a few. From the man who unwittingly inherited the title to the guy who bought it, and a few who earned it. This is a shout out to my fathers.

James R.
I guess it's easy to become a dad. It's definitely not a slight responsibility to have suddenly thrust upon you, as I've observed. The hard thing about you, Dad, is that I really don't have much to go by. The women of my family are a bit confusing as to your intentions. I've heard that you're a really great man who treated my mother right, and she didn't know how to take that. Believable. Then there's the story that you were a sweet talker without a plan, a romancer of many. Knowing my family, I guess that's believable too. I've heard that you're tall, lean, and built out of whipcord. I've heard you had intense blue eyes and a personality that stole hearts. I've been told many times that I'm a lot like you.

Since all I have to go by is rumor, I'm going to take the unassuming stance and thank you for what I know you gave me. Pretty sure I'd be nothing without you. It would be kind of hard to make me without your gene pool and hereditary makeup. I rather am thankful for being alive. Also, I wish I could know a little more about you someday.

Warren B.
If the road to Heaven were paved with good intentions, you'd probably be way ahead of anyone else I've known. That's why it's so hard to look at you with anger. Because I know that you actually, painstakingly tried your hardest to make me love you. You worked with an incredible handicap, communication barriers, and a heart full of pain to touch my little life. And I acknowledge that. I'm sorry for not focusing on that more. Little kids aren't able to see the big picture. I know you messed up, but I understand why now. I feel your frustration and I wish I could make it better for you. You should know that I'm thankful for several things that seem most insignificant. Like your devotion to the woman who gave you children. Your constant attention to detail. I guess I'm most thankful for your very sensitive heart.

If I could get past all the hurt and pain you caused, I would tell you this to your face. You deserved a better end than what you got, and I'm sorry for my part. Also sorry for being unable to give you my heart. But you have my sympathy and affections.

Joe M.
Charlie B.
Neil H.
Michael W.S.
Guy P.
This goes out to the individuals who acted as life preservers throughout my early years. Because as insignificant as it may have seemed at the time, each of you were a father in my eyes. You gave me a place with your children, and that was a precious gift. You showed me what a father's love should feel like. You gave me so much more than physical comforts. You showed me the power of a hug from dad, a few words spoken with emotion and truth, and an acceptance of the messed up kid that I was. I love you with daughter's love in return, and I live my life in a way that I hope would make you proud.

Jim H.
It's been a long and slow process, but I think I've finally found a closure in my crazy mixed up life in the father department. You came into my life at a time when I'd finally given up on the dream of family. Your son became my hero because he knew how to embrace life and people from all backgrounds and lifestyles. Now I see where it comes from. This family is incredibly accepting and steadfast. You've given me a whole new start on the idea of being part of a close family. It's an honor to be part of your family, and I thank you for the chance.

At last, it's a real Happy Father's Day!