So yesterday's task was to re-post a post that you wish more people had read. I am reposting this one. The important people in my life have read it but others might find inspiration in it as well. Thanks to SITS Girls for reminding me of this post and to their sponsors Florida Builders Appliances, Standards of Excellence, and Westar Kitchen and Bath. This was one I wrote several years ago on Father's Day.
I know that you are intrigued by my title so let me explain. I have had 6 fathers in one sense or the other. No matter the way they treated me, they each taught me something. Or I learned something from each of them.
Let's start with #1. He would be termed my birth father. He contributed the genes that make up half of me. I don't know much about him or his family. I do know that he had curly, blond hair and blue eyes and a twin sister. His family is or was a well to do family in the town in which I was born. He gave me life despite the fact that he was a teenager and I was the product of teenage passion. I am grateful for that. I learned from him that teenage love is, for the most part, fleeting. I wish that I had learned that when I was a teenager. I, also, learned that when things get tough you run away. I lived under that wisdom for a long time. No more!
#2 was my step-father. He was married to my birth mother for a short time. In the brief time that I lived with them, I watched him beat her and shoot her and felt the sting of beating on my backside. He took advantage of me as a baby in a way that ruins a person. He was a mean drunk and a not so nice sober man. You ask what could I possibly learn from him? The first lesson I learned was inappropriate love. I also learned fear from a man. I, also, learned to protect others. I had a little step-sister. I would take her from him and tell him to not do that to her but to me instead. It was as if I knew that I was already damaged and I didn't want him to damage her. Our time ended together the night he aimed a shotgun at me and fired. Obviously, he missed. Just like Jimmy Carter led us to Ronald Reagan. He was followed by my adoptive father.
#3 is my adoptive father, Steve. He is also my grandfather. Baffle you? I was adopted by my grandparents. Dad was a great provider. There were 8 kids that he had to raise. 4 of his and 2 of my moms and 2 adoptees. I call us the Brady Bunch on acid. We never went without the things that we needed. We may not have had everything that we wanted but we never went naked or starved. I know that some of you will find this hard to believe but I wasn't always the easiest child to raise. I had "issues". He handled them the best way that he knew how. He taught me the value of hard work and a dollar and paying your bills on time. He taught me that sometimes people make mistakes but family always helps family if they can. I watch him with my kids and envy the easy relationship that they have but ours is getting better and I can say that I love him with my whole heart. He sacrificed more for my siblings and me than I could ever say. He did it quietly and without any expectations of repayment. I am glad that God chose you to be my dad!
#4 is my spiritual father. Those of you who aren't Christians may not understand this one but Michael led me to a real, saving relationship with Christ. Michael is also my husband and the father to my beautiful children. He is a great daddy and does what most men won't. While I was in the hospital, he worked full-time and was mommy and daddy to the kids. It was hard on him. Leading me to Christ makes him my spiritual father. He teaches me humility and to see the good in life and not drown in my sorrows. He is always positive and even keeled. But best of all, he loved me so much that he wanted to spend eternity with me. Not even roses and chocolate can beat that kind of romance.
#5 is related to #4. It is my father-in-law. I love that man. I love the boy that he raised who became the man that is my husband. Mike and I have a great relationship and I can talk to him about so many things. I learned from him that in-laws aren't horrible people like you hear in books and from comedians. I, also, learned from him that fresh flounder and shrimp straight from his boat can't be beat. He is a great fisherman! He has taught me that generosity is a precious thing and he often works his fingers to the bone in my home. He is a great grandfather and my kids adore him. I look forward to raising you in your old age!
#6 is my Heavenly Father. I can't possibly write everything that He has taught me. The internet could not contain it. I will write the highlights. Forgiveness, gentleness, patience(even though He didn't give me an abundance), real, true love, the value of life, grace, mercy, salvation. My relationships are all centered on Him. I am grateful that I can come to Him at anytime and He wraps His arms around me and loves on me. He taught me that no matter how far I stray I am never to far from Him. All I need is a trip down onto my knees to be near Him. I can't wait to spend eternity in Heaven praising His holy name. God is the most important father that I have. He sustained my family during our time of crisis and we wanted for nothing. He performed miracles in my life and the lives of my children and in many of your lives. God, forgive me for not even scratching the surface of what You have done and who You are.
So that is the tale of my 6 fathers. They each shaped who I am today and some of them continue to shape my life until the day of my death and beyond. I wish each of you Happy Father's Day. Call your dad and let him know how much you appreciate what he has done for you or has taught you. You can learn something from even the worst dad or the nonexistent one. Most importantly, thank God for His saving grace and for saving you. May God bless each of you!