Happy Father's Day to all the dads visiting my web page, and all those who are not. To all those who gave life and love, and bestowed gifts and values upon their children.
Most of you have heard me talk about my own father. He was a complicated and conflicted man. We had a complicated and conflicted relationship. I am ever-grateful to him for shaping me, consciously or unconsciously, into the person I am today. I remember him with love.
But I'd like to tell you about another dad. One of the greatest I've ever met. One whom it is a privilege to know, to observe, to admire, my son, Isaiah.
OK, so I might be a bit prejudiced... but then again, maybe not so much.
Isaiah, or Sonny as his dad and I called him from birth, bonded strongly with his father as an infant. My first husband was many wonderful things, and he doted on his new baby boy. He would talk to him in his deep, beautiful, broadcasters voice. He told him stories, and bounced and tossed and snuggled him. But he also struggled with addictions and demons that led to poor choices.
And one day, when Sonny was two years old, he left us. For the first few months, he acted as if he wanted to maintain a relationship with his son, but then he moved several states away and the contact diminished precipitously. A few years later, I moved with Sonny to the east coast, and nearly all contact was severed.
Sonny didn't see his dad from about age 3-12. From 12- 20 he saw him rarely. Then, at 22, something miraculous happened with this boy who loved his dad, but did not have him in his life... he became a father himself and everything to his children that he missed out on. He also began reaching out to his own dad, and built a different, but loved filled relationship with him.
My son is a police officer in what was just named, nationally, as one of the most dangerous cities in America. He works 12 hour over-night shifts protecting us. He is also a combat trainer and a member of the S.W.A.T. team. He is 6'1" muscled and T.O.U.G.H.
Each day, after working all night long, he goes home to his wife and four children and becomes a teddy bear. Ok, maybe not a teddy bear; he does discipline his children when necessary. But he snuggles, he huggles, he sings, and coos, he changes diapers, puts hair in pig tails, ties shoes, wipes noses, coaches soccer and baseball...
He runs along bicycles until it's time to let go, he kisses skinned knees and puts on band aids, and he takes his family to church.
He is present and accounted for, even though he is sleep deprived and often running on fumes. He is there.
His babies are his world, and he theirs.
I am so proud of him! He is proof that history does NOT have to repeat itself. He took the gifts his father gave to him, embraced them, and left the sorrow behind.
He is MORE and if you missed out on having a dad in your life, you can be too!