I am truly blessed to see my daughters as young adults. One was in and out of my life during her upbringing, the other was completely absent until recently. Neither has to love me, neither has to share their adult life with their sperm donor.
But they do. And no one else loves me as fiercely as these two. As fiercely as I love them. If that is the only blessing I receive in this life, I am more than welcome for it.
My own father passed away unexpectedly, when I was still just a kid. While his brothers and others have stepped up in the following years, his absence was consciously missed with aching pain. I lost my superhero, my greatest champion. He was my own Luke Cage.
He didn’t get to see me sworn in as a US citizen. Or graduate high school. Or enlist, graduate boot camp or snatch my DD214. He was THE reason I enlisted. I didn’t get to see his face when I passed my drivers test. Or the look on his face when I clumsily rode home on my first motorcycle. The man who convinced me that I was too adventurous for training wheels and taught me to ride my first bike.
I know how important my presence and accessibility are to my own children, because I am painfully aware of the very permanent absence of my own Dad.
I am by means no June Mainor. I am no superhero. But I am still both blessed and humbled every time I am called Dad.
Happy Fathers Day to every Dad, young and old, here or estranged, perfect and flawed. Your kids are blessed and cursed to love you unconditionally. Return the favor, unconditionally.