I’ll add my voice to all of the praises for Father’s Day today. First of all, though, watch this video.
I have my own fathers (yes, more than one) to be grateful for.
I’m Grateful for My Biological Father
This is a picture of my biological father, Jack. For over 30 years, I didn’t know who he was. When my mom found out she was pregnant, she made an arrangement with him, and so he was never a part of my life.
I know that it sounds strange that I would say that I’m grateful for him, and to be honest, for many years, my gratitude for him was limited.
For many years, I thought that he had abandoned me; that he didn’t want me. And I told myself that it was okay. I found other things to be grateful for – like my olive skin-tone; and my existence. Even though my birth may not have been in the best circumstances, I’m so grateful that it happened.
Thankfully, my gratitude for Jack doesn’t end there. Now I’ve known him for a little over three years. I’ve come to know the truth about the decision that he and my mom made before my birth. I know that for years he has wondered about me, and that though I never had a relationship with him, he has always been a good father. It is such a relief to know that he’s a good father. Though there are times that I regret I wasn’t able to have more experiences with him, I’m happy to know that I am the daughter of a very good man.
Not only that, it seems that I biologically inherited some pretty awesome traits, too – great taste in music and food. 🙂
I’m Grateful for My Dad
This is my dad. He is a great man; a great father. I probably don’t share that with him enough. But I love him, look up to him, and am grateful for him.
My very first memory, of my entire life, is when I was adopted. I was around four years old. My dad had already been in my life for about two years by that point. My memories are fuzzy (I mean, seriously, I was four!), but in my mind’s eye, I can remember a courthouse, a judge, and above all my dad buying me a yellow gumball.
The best part about this memory (besides the yellow gumball, obviously), is that although (as a child) I never knew my biological father, I have never known what it’s like not to have a dad. Even though I felt some feelings of abandonment at times (which, I’m assuming is what most children in my position feel), I also realized that I had something many children do not: someone who accepted me. Someone who wanted me enough to adopt me and give me candy.
My dad has always been there for me. He has taught me how to enjoy baseball games and play with my kids. He has taught me to be responsible and hard working. My dad has an amazing sense of humor, and is one of the funniest people I know. He has taught me how to laugh, and how to crack a good joke (especially puns!). I truly look up to him, and want to be like him.
How being a Single Mother Increased My Appreciation
Several years ago, when I got divorced, I experienced a sea-change in my life. I went from being primarily a mother, a nurturer, and partial contributor → to the mother, nurturer and breadwinner, sole-provider, and-well-everything else.
It was difficult.
I felt the immense burden of providing for my children on my own. No one else was there to help me bear my burden. I felt the pressure of providing for my daughters’ immediate needs, but I also understood that they’d need more for years–they’d need more food than just for today and tomorrow. I’d need to figure out a way to provide today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and longer. I had a decent job at the time, but I was still worried that I wouldn’t be able to adequately provide for them long-term. I knew that I needed a better plan. I was overwhelmed, but also realized that I simply needed to do what I could, pray for help, and accept that my meager offering to my children would have to be enough.
In those trying moments, my appreciation for my father grew even more. For the first time, I could truly understand, through my own experience, the stress, the worry, and the burden that my father had felt for his children.
I’m grateful for My Husband, Homey
There are loads of reasons that I’m grateful for Homey, but today, I’ll highlight that I’m grateful that he is such a great father.
Homey is an outstanding father. When we were first married, he stepped in and became a father to Tiger and Panda. I can still remember how Panda would beg Homey to hold her, and then when he did, she would press her nose against his, forcing him to gaze into her eyes, and she’d just smile.
When we were married, he didn’t ask questions or complain, he simply stepped in. He took the girls on daddy-daughter dates, he played with them, he laughed with them, he disciplined them, he supported them, he loved them.
A few years later, Sasquatch and T-Rex came along. And he treats all of his four children (biological or not) as his children. He is loving, hilarious, fun, and fair. He takes seriously his responsibility to teach his children to pray, and to lead our family in studying the scriptures, going to church, and holding FHE.
Homey works, prays, and lives for his children.
I’m Grateful for my Heavenly Father
Through all of these experiences – with my own fathers, husband, and experiences, I know, above all that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love Him.
Heavenly Father has blessed me in so many ways: materially, spiritually, emotionally. I can’t sit and list all of the ways right now (this post would be like triple it’s length), but I can say that I know I have a Heavenly Father, and I know that He loves me. I feel His love in my own family. I have felt his love when I’ve knelt in prayer. I have felt His love while hiking the Grand Canyon, sitting on the beach, or looking at the stars. I have felt His love in trying times and in times of plenty…All I can say is, I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that He loves all of His children. And I know that He loves us perfectly, and with more depth and devotion than we can imagine.
I’m grateful for this knowledge, and for the peace that it has brought in my life.
I’m grateful for all my fathers and my experiences with them. Happy father’s day!