There are times in your life when you need your father, especially, during the mile markers and challenges in your life. Important events, such as, graduation, marriage and the birth of your children can be painful reminders to those of us who do not have our father figure in our life. The fortunate fact is there are other good men who can be in your life and step into that role or at the very least model for you what a good man and father looks like. This man does not have to be of your blood. It may be a mentor, a teacher, a family friend, an uncle, or a stepfather.
I am more than blessed to have not one, but two fathers in my life growing up and as an adult. From the age of two, I was raised by my wonderful and loving stepfather, Richard. In my childhood, he would be the only man I would ever know as ‘Dad.’ He taught me how to fish, ride my bike, playing in the mud was not just for boys, and ungrounded me often which annoyed my Mom! He also taught me boys have cooties that are highly contagious, how to defend myself and to not tolerate disrespect but to have self-worth. In my teens, my dad and Mom divorced but my ‘Dad’ did not divorce me! He remained a loving and constant father to me and continues to do so to this day.
It was not until I was a young adult that I discovered the truth that my Dad who was lovingly raising me was not my birth father. My biological father was an absentee father on all levels. My biological father knew I existed, however, he never came looking for me. At the age of thirty, I sought him out and met him for the first time. He is truly a nice man and I was able to find out all the family history and where I came from. We continued to talk for several months developing a new kind of relationship and then he just selfishly and suddenly disappeared from my life.