Holidays like this can be an exercise in being dutiful for me. My family, from childhood, has never been one to excel at celebrating any occasion. In fact, childhood was just plain rough in so many ways, yet mixed in with all of that, there were good times and good memories.
That social media site today is inundated with all these posts by friends, and some extended family, wishing a Happy Father's Day to their dads whether living or passed on, and there's much here in blog land that is the same. I have called my step-dad to do my duty, and truly, it is more than duty, he's been my 'dad' since I was 3 or 4, but having had a rough childhood himself, including several years in an orphanage beginning at the age of 5 after being abandoned by his parents, he has a lot of detachment type issues. He's a 'nice' guy, not into any bad behaviors like drinking, drugs, smoking or criminal activity-type things that guys could have with similar backgrounds, but there has never been a closeness that I see in other family relationships. So when I see those posts, my heart aches a bit. I have tried over the years to reach out towards that emotional closeness place, but it just isn't there. He provided as well as he was able to for us and the children from his first marriage - between the yours, mine, ours there are 8 of us now adult children.
I remember once when I was probably about 19 or 20, I'd flown home and when he took me back to the airport to leave, he wouldn't go beyond a certain point within the terminal, and I went to give him a goodbye hug and you'd have thought I was a rattlesnake the way he recoiled. While I'd been away from home I'd grown accustomed to people who were emotionally "well" and so I was doing what I'd since learned was ok to do, but had forgotten that that wasn't the way of my own family. I care a great deal for my 'dad' (Leroy), we always called him by his name, as did his own flesh & blood children which is his preference, and I think maybe that contributes to the emotional distance. He may not be perfect, he may not have gotten all things right, he may not have had right done to him as a child either, but he is my dad, and I respect him for that and for sticking with us when things weren't fun, which was often, or when he'd had enough, so for an earthly father, he gets a great big Happy Father's Day.
My birth dad, D.R., now he's another story. He is deceased, having passed in 1998. He's part of what made childhood less than happy. He was a womanizer, and out of the home by the time I was 3, and ultimately having been married 4 or 5 times and having had countless other 'significant others'. I have at least one sibling of which I know only is male and he'd be about 47 yrs old now, and a sister that I located a decade or so ago. D.R., especially as he got older, liked young women, some might even only be considered girls. And that's as far as I'll go on that. He was always significantly behind in child support, and his own father occasionally paid some of it for him. For a time in my life, when I was still young and naive, I felt he was getting a bad rap by those who put him down and chastised his behavior and when I was 18 I left home in the wet land and moved to live with him for a few months here in this dry land. It wasn't until years later though that I did finally see the reality of the legitimacy of the negatives spoken about him, and ultimately came to have very little to do with him up until he passed. He produced children. He was not a father. I don't know what made him go the way he did but for the evil in this world being too much of a temptation. He had the most wonderful, loving parents - my grandparents, who I loved dearly and miss greatly.
There's one Father though that deserves the utmost accolades, and that's my Heavenly Father. He has known me from the Beginning and knows every joy and pain I have ever experienced in this life, and will experience in the future. He has me in the palm of His hand, and will let no one snatch me from it. He is eternally loving, faithful and true. He will correct me when I need it, He will guide as I listen to Him. He will allow me to go through only what is needful to bring me to His perfect will for my life. I praise Him today, and say Happy FATHER'S Day to my Abba Father.