Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Every family has their issues, there is no doubt about it, but when I was growing up I was pretty certain that my family was close to perfect. My mom and my dad loved each other dearly and I never saw them fight. I had two siblings and we lived in a beautiful suburban home with a wishing well and white picket fence. On nice days we would ride our bikes all over the neighborhood finding friends or going to the park. My mom worked on her garden and my father with his cars or on the house. In the hot summer afternoons, my siblings and I would run to my father and beg him for spare change for the ice cream man, something he could never resist.

 My father was always a strong man. In our home, there was no doubt that my mother was the boss, he even admits it, but my father was our example of what a man was supposed to be. Everyday he got up in the wee hours of the morning to hit the road to get to work near the city. Sometimes I would wake and watch him getting ready to go, doing his morning routine. I am not sure why I watched him, I guess my dad always fascinated me in some way. My siblings would tell you that I was his favorite with a snarky look on their faces and he was certainly one of my most favorite people.

He was a cobbler and work with his hands making things new that were once old and worn out. He used leather like it was butter, molding things into a beautiful fine shining finish. My friend's parents were laborers of some kind or worked in offices in stuffy suits, I was certain that my dad was so mush more skilled than anyone else's father could possibly be.

 Aside of his profession, my father could solve any problem. Whether it was a split hose or a sunken roof, my dad came up with an amazingly genius way to fix it. He didn't rely on anything other than a stack of Time Magazine's home repair books that he bought to reference in his home ownership shortly after my parents were married. I would watch my father with a pencil in his hand sketching out ideas to resolve some problem he was faced with. I loved watching my dad think.

When I grew up and had my first child, I knew what a father should be, I had watched mine my entire life. I knew what a family should be, my parents raised us in a loving and complete home. I knew what I wanted my children to have. I wasn't however prepared for what direction life would take me, undoubtedly for the poor decisions that I made.

 In 2009 my life changed completely and irreparably. My marriage was over and the dreams I had for giving my children the childhood I had had, was gone. Don't get me wrong, the decisions that were made within those few months of my life were the best decisions I had made (minus a few little scuffles) for myself and especially my children and I haven't regretted them since. But I felt for so long that I was failing my children because they would not have the father and mother, the family unit that I had had. I tried to think that everything was the best for my children and with our family supporting me and them, they would not miss what was now gone.

 I was now a single mother to two kids, one with high needs and Asperger's Syndrome. I had no delusions that I would be single and simply have to be the best that I could be for my kids. It was role I was not prepared for but with my mother and father standing beside me, I knew that my children would not suffer.

Life is funny though. I am absolutely positive that God is somewhere watching my life unfold with a glint in his eye and possibly a bucket of popcorn. Somehow I managed to run into MacLeod, someone who had been there for so long but I had never seen. He too had suffered a terrible divorce, but also had come from a wonderful and loving family. Before long my own children looked to him for support and love. I didn't think that I could possibly give my children what I had always dreamed for them, the life I had growing up in my family, but now they do. They have two parents in their home who they can see modeling a good and caring relationship and more than anything see what my dad taught me, what a father should be.

Happy Father's Day daddy, I love you so much. Thank you for looking past all my failings and my faults and loving me no matter what. ... and Happy Father's Day MacLeod, you are such a loving, wonderful father to your own kids, a love you have been selflessly sharing with my children. We love you and are happy to be able to call you ours.

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