We all have a father. Biologically we do. There's just no getting around it. Some have been lucky enough to know who he is, but not everyone does.
I have always felt very lucky to have my father. When I was a kid, I came from a family unit of mother, father, and three kids. Very all-American. At the time I felt that I grew up in the normal family experience. In fact, it wasn't til I went off to college, and later in life, that I came to realize I was VERY fortunate to be raised in a family unit that stayed together the whole time. My hubby didn't have it. Some of my friends didn't either. They had much more dysfunction and changes as kids. There was divorce, remarrying, step-parents, step-siblings, etc. I know I'm very blessed to have been raised the way I was.
For that I thank my father. He was a man dedicated to his wife, and to his children. And as far I know he never thought of leaving us. I know life is complicated and tough, but he had God on his side, and commitment. Love. I know it was there.
I didn't hear it. But, I felt it as a kid.
So, I thank my father for all those years. I know I wouldn't be who I am today without feeling safe in my home as a kid. See - I never had to worry about our family unit. I felt like I belonged.
A lot of kids don't have that. I think about children and young people today who struggle, and I immediately wonder about their home life. Who was there for them? Was the door always open and a warm bed waiting for them? Food on the table? Was there security?
When you come from an all-American family unit it's easy to overlook the basics. It's easy to think everyone has it the same. But, as an adult now, all grown and having raised my own children, I realize that it was a blessing to grow up in a family with mom and dad, and siblings (even if they annoyed the heck out of me sometimes. I annoyed them too.) This world has changed, and there are all kinds of families... and that's fine. I am open-minded enough to know that not everyone is the same. But, everyone needs a place to go - to be themselves, to feel safe, to be taught right from wrong. Family.
I had a good childhood. I had a wonderful foundation. I owe that to my mother and my father.
Tomorrow is the day to single out dads, and so I write this post to thank my dad for giving me a home, and a childhood that many would love to have. Thank you Paul Milheim!