Today was Father's Day - a day which is always bittersweet for me and requires a great deal of introspection. You see, my father wasn't ready to be a dad when I was born, so my mom chose to do things on her own. It was just her and I until she married a man who adopted me later = but he was less than a father. Plagued by his own demons, he struggled to be kind, loving and to be much more than simply a provider. I never really had that "daddy" that people talk about. I did meet my biological father in my teens, but our relationship has always been one more of acquaintance than father/daughter. The older I get, the more I am jealous of my girlfriends who are close to their dads or talk about how much they miss their fathers.
I have a girlfriend who tells me stories about her and her daddy...how he would take her to work, was the one she went to when she was sad, confused or needed help and how a day doesn't go by that he dad doesn't call her and say, "I love you, Pumpkin!" Is that what a dad is supposed to be or is that fantasy? A made up Cinderella story that includes an older version of Prince Charming? Maybe, maybe not. AlI know is that I didn't have anything remotely close to that.
I speak to my bio father every couple months or so, more of a "what have you been up to" kind of conversation than like we are relatives. A couple years ago, my father happened to mention to me in casual conversation that he had cancer. I remember that despite the cool and collected tone in my voice, inside I felt panic. Although he had never been my "daddy", we could never have more of a relationship than we did if he was to pass and I simply wasn't prepared for that. He is well now, thank goodness but I'm still waiting for that relationship. It, however, is a fantasy as I know that now at the ages of 44 and 64 respectively, we have the relationship we have.
What I do know is this. Although I didn't get the "fantasy daddy", I do have a father who is still alive. Sure, he is emotionally distant, but we still are able to hold conversations several times a year and I cherish that. And in addition to that, I have a step-father who , although is not that "fantasy daddy" either, cares for me in his own way. I may not have the dad that that stepped out of a Disney fairytale, I do have 2 dads that love me to the best of their ability even if it isn't what I had fantasized about. I am getting the best that they have to offer and for that I am grateful. So, to these 2 men in my life, I wish you happy Father's Day. And to those of you who DO have that daddy, cherish those moments, those memories and the gift that you have.
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