Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father....not a DNA-Dependent Relationship

I see so many men...well I really do not see them because they are not around.....that provide their DNA for my patients but never love or provide for them.  Yet, I meet men whose DNA composes no child and still they love them, raise them, and FATHER them.  Therefore, father is a relative term....not one necessitated upon biology but rather on love, sacrifice, and teaching.  Fathers, whether stepfathers, adoptive fathers, biological father, or otherwise, make such a huge difference in the lives of the children in which they involve themselves.  We look around at society and wonder why children act the way do....I would contend that there are a lot more single moms or even married ladies trying to do the job of a man and woman.  While us women are strong, enduring creatures, fathers, real father figures, play a unique role in a child's life, and their absence can devastate and destroy the path of a child, a culture if some intercession is not made. 

I say all of this as preface to my real point.  I, unlike so many people I meet daily, am lucky.  I have a father, a daddy, that loves me daily and unconditionally.  I have a step-father who loves me as if I were his child by birth.  I have husband who has transformed into a fantastic father.  I would like to take today's post and briefly honor the fathers in my life....

1) Bob, my step-father
My mom married Bob when I was in the fifth grade.  Tough year for any change, much less a family change.  He has been around ever since.  He showed up when I started my period at school just a few months after he joined our family, cheered at most of my basketball games through high school, and was present at my wedding.  I can think of such funny stories with him being brought along for many day long shopping trips with my mom or hiding the phone from us because we always left it off the hook or honking the horn for 20+ seconds as I walked into junior high school.  If you asked me to think of Bob, I would see him in a polo shirt, khakis and loafers, all neatly ironed with creases....probably playing golf, talking politics or now, being silly with Tedi.  I love him very much.... below is that very thing, Bob being very silly with Tedi...pretending to be a walrus.

2. Jimmy, my father in law
My father in law was not raised by men.  He lost his father as a toddler then his grandfather as a very young boy.  His mother also died when he was a toddler.  Raised by his aunt and his grandmother, he still became a strong man, father and leader of his house.  In his retirement, he has forfeited golfing and sleep to spend time with my son.  Never complaining, he participates in car pool and still goes to construction sites to throw rocks and play in water.   I deeply admire Jimmy for the way he raised my husband and how he loves my son. 

3.  My Dad
I love my dad.  He is the hardest working man I know and demands nothing less from me.  Maybe working these 30 hour shifts is tolerable because of what he taught me.  He had no option but to work hard.  He was the 13th of 15 children to parents that were tenant farmers in rural Tennessee.  He started working at twelve years old, the age when many now have iPhones.  He was in the Navy and thereafter began working for State Farm Insurance without a college degree.  He has worked his tail off for everything he has.  He loves me and my sister unconditionally.  He is even getting to where he loves JT, I think :-)  It is amazing to see him now as he loves on Tedi and to hear Tedi say "That's MY grandpa Kevin!"  When I think of my dad, I hear Mark Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" playing in the background. We are sitting on the boat listening to Zac Brown Band or our shared love for diet Mtn Dew or his fudge or any of his cooking really.  I hear him saying "Now sis..." or  "I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just sayin' " or "You're my girl".  There is so much I think of when I think of my dad.  More than anything I am just thankful to have been gifted with such a man when so many children are not.

4.  JT, my dear husband
This is the first year that my man and my partner is a daddy.  Together we became parents this year...not by creating a little bitty baby inside of me but adopting one of the most beautiful, fun boys I have ever met.  A perfect fit for our family.....God knew what he was doing when Tedi became part of our family almost a year ago.  JT is so patient with Tedi.....especially when I am not.  He teaches him to change light bulbs and fix vents and to tell his mommy she is pretty even when she is not and to hold doors open for ladies and to say his prayers as night and to love Jesus and give kisses and to follow directions the first time (working on this).... all of this and so much more make JT an unbelievable father.  I fall more in love with him each time I watch him with Tedi.  We did not know we could love someone so much until Tedi joined our family...making us parents and yet better people.  I love my husband so much and even more now that he is a daddy.  When I think of JT, I hear Notorious B.I.G. and Conway Twittytshirts.  I hear more loud singing and conversations.  I see my life being lived one day at a time for the rest of my days.  I see a father to more children than Tedi. 

"I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy."

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