Since it's Fathers' Day, I'll say a little bit about fathers. Those of us who are very lucky, like me, have Daddies. The words have very different connotations. Every person has a father, whether or not they know them, whether or not they like them. Daddy is a word that conveys a certain familiarity, a vulnerability, an affection, that is hard to come by and much rarer than the biological tie between father and child.
My daddy is not perfect. But he has always been there. Many women, and men, grow up without knowing what its like to have the man responsible for their existence constantly present. Fortunately, I do not know that absence. Through all his foibles, victories, setbacks and triumphs, my father was there. I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand what it means for a man to commit to being a parent, a spouse, a son. And that has made all the difference. That has provided me the chance to see and appreciate the humanity of every other man that I have met, to define who I am as a woman in relation. I have never felt the void of identity and affiliation that so many struggle to overcome.
From my father I have learned how to forgive, how to laugh, how to be vulnerable. I have learned what to do. I have learned what not to do. And as I met men and women who were not fortunate enough to have shared their lives with their fathers, I have gained a tremendous respect for my father's dedication and true commitment to his responsibilities. I feel very blessed and very loved. Thank you, Daddy.
Besides my father, I was also fortunate enough to have the love of another man. My PawPaw! He was a Grandfather, in every sense of the word. He also gave me unconditional love and unwavering support. There was never a moment when he was alive that I felt uncertain. No matter what I went to my grandfather for, he had it. Without saying much, my grandfather never failed to let me know how very special I must be. That nothing was too good or far from reach for me. That anything I wanted was mine. Some people call that spoiling, those people are wrong--and possibly jealous. I know better. Grandfathers are for raising the bar and creating limitless possibility. With my grandmother, my grandfather gave me security and that allowed me to dream and wish beyond the limits of my experience, to be daring, to be generous, to be kind, and to have the highest expectations of myself.
So today is Fathers' Day... I am very grateful for my father and my grandfathers, but I am lucky for my Daddy and my Paw Paw!