It’s unconventional, to say the least, but my three dads all get along fabulously and it makes family events MUCH easier. I’ve seen so many women try to slight the role a father figure plays in a child’s life but to me it’s VITAL. The support I have received from my fathers are instrumental to my emotional health. The way that I have seen them carry their responsibilities allows me to hold my husband to a different set of standards because I know he has SEEN men who hold themselves accountable, who take care of their families, who are present for their wives and kids.
In the beginning…
My twin, my daddy; Leon. Growing up with a father in the military was difficult at times because he was often gone. There were a period of times where we lived in a different city than him because my mom wasn’t down for shuffling the kids around during every transfer, especially for short term assignments. I often missed him at school events when I was in elementary school but I always felt his love and support. We had our close bond; I was his munchkin and I was definitely a daddy’s girl. When he retired from the Marine Corps after 28 years of service, I was in high school and was excited about this new chapter in our lives. I began to spend time with my dad that I hadn’t experienced before and he was able to finally start attending most of my events. It was amazing!
Life was good. He is the one I got daddy/daughter dates from and the importance of spending one on one time away for the other parent. He was great at that in his retirement years and I ate it up. My daddy was and still is one of the best providers I know. I never had to want for anything growing up. What he lacked in time when I was younger, he definitely made up for during my high school and college years!
Child of Divorce…
After college, I started my career close to home. My mom’s company that she had been with for years, relocated to another state. My parents agreed that she would go ahead and my dad would follow. Well… that didn’t happen. Soon after that, my parents divorced at the WORST possible time in my life, I was newly pregnant with T. Let me tell you, being an adult child of divorce, I believe is more difficult than being a kid. I began to question all the things that happened during my childhood; were the memories of happy times real? Was there love? Why after 26 years were they divorcing!? It definitely took a toll on me and my fathers’ relationship but over the next few years, we became close again. Wounds were healed and both of my parents had remarried.
I never in a million years thought I would have to deal with “Bonus” parents but here I was at 26, both my parents remarried and now new people in my life that I have to love. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I don’t accept new people into my world without EXTREME caution. For my bonus dad, Norbert aka Pops, that never scared him away. He was also so kind, welcoming, loving. The first time I went to my mom’s house and he was living there… IT WAS AWKWARD. Like “Mama, who dis man?” type awkward.
My mom also wasn’t for the shenanigans and made it abundantly clear that she loved Pops and wanted me to respect and honor him. It was so easy to do. I went through some pretty life-changing things at a time when my dad and I were not in the best place. Norbert never tried to be a replacement but always an encourager. He was instrumental in me reconciling with my dad as he also had his own experiences of struggles with his biological daughters.
A United Front…
When I made the decision to marry and have a wedding, I was pretty adamant that both my dads would walk me down the aisle. Many people had something to say about it but both of them were instrumental to me at very different but very important parts of my life. Both guided me to the decision I was making but most importantly I knew that if in the future I ever needed ANYTHING, I could turn to both of them. So, Pops walked me half way to meet my Dad and my Dad gave me away to J. It was magical, beautiful and selfless. That’s what real fatherhood looks like.
Father in Love…
Years before I made the decision to marry J, I met his father; Larry aka Papa. Truthfully, I think to see the type of man Papa was made me love J even more. My hope was that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Papa instantly embraced me and T with open arms and love. When J and I went through a rough patch, he called ME and encouraged me; never choosing a side. Whenever you marry someone, it’s very true that you marry their family as well. Papa was evidence of a man of purpose, ethics, and value. He and my mother in love have been married for 45 years and their wisdom is invaluable. No matter where life takes me, I know that I have another dad that I can turn to if I ever needed. That’s winning in my book!
One family, One Love…
Every man in my life is secure in his position. They never felt threatened or intimidated which allows for great family events and holidays; as well as solid personal relationships with me and my girls. Some people don’t have a father figure in their life but I am eternally grateful and feel so blessed to have 3 amazing dads each providing a unique perspective on life and experiences.
Be encouraged! Life doesn’t always happen the way we envision but it usually ends up being so much more than we could have imagined.
Love & Light,