Friday at work, I was having a discussion with a coworker that began on a subject completely unrelated to Father’s Day.
The woman with whom I was talking told me stories about her father, but not a thing she had to say was pleasant. She told me about how she and her mother were abused. She discussed her memories of her father beating her mother, and how her mother would always go back to him, and that somehow she always loved the man.
She spoke calmly, with an understanding that this was just what life was, but I could see in her eyes she despised the details of the story she told. She also had been abused during her first marriage, which psychologists would probably say was a direct effect of her childhood experiences.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember all the details of our conversation at this moment, and all the details are not extremely important. It was amazing to me to hear the stories I was hearing, because this coworker had never talked to me about this aspect of her life. To know her, you’d likely never know she had such a turbulent past.
What was fascinating, though, was how she turned the story on me and asked me, “And what about your father?”
My answer was quite simple, and came to me without hesitation.
“Best man I’ve ever known,” I replied.
Any man can be a “father,” in the biological sense. But to be a Dad… to be a man, and to do the things it takes to not just provide, but to truly help a child find his way?
Thank you, Dad, for all you’ve given me. Life, lessons, advice, experience shared… Thank you. I know I didn’t always show you appreciation, but I suppose you always knew that was part of the deal.
You truly are the best man I know. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.