If you’ve been reading my journals for any length of time you know this is a hard time of year for me. Not only is it summer, when everything bad seems to happen in my life, but it’s also Fathers Day.
Right now you think I’m going to bag on my dad or whine about my past, but I’m not.
Last year when I wrote my infamous Father’s Day Essay, which I clearly said would be the last one on the subject—I did more damage to my relationship with my father than good. That wasn’t my intention and looking back I take responsibility for it, I admit I fucked up big time. Let me be clear I’m not sorry for being honest and getting my feelings out, but I am sorry about how I went about it. I should have handled it better, not could have - SHOULD HAVE.
I don’t blame my dad for not talking to me anymore, I blame myself.
This year was looking to be worse than normal. It’s been more than a year since I spoke with my father and I’ll be honest it’s had me in the dumps. I’ve been seriously depressed over the last six weeks and been keeping it in house. I don’t mean I’ve been holding it in, because I haven’t, I mean I’ve been gun shy about talking about in a public forum even though that’s the tactic which has helped me so much over the last three years. Tell the truth and shame the devil depression cycle or not, I’ve never been this happy and I know it’s because I cleaned out my proverbial closet.
Now onto what’s different this year. Like I said depression was kicking my ass hardcore, until two days ago. That was when I had one of those lightning bolt revelations you read about in bad pulp fiction.
I realized I’m a father.
Yeah laugh all you want. I have six kids and been a dad since 1996, so yes, technically I’ve been a father for nineteen years. But now I get it. Now I understand what it means to be a father. My first born bio-kid, Chrissy, graduated high school last month and last week she started working fulltime on third shift at the local gas station while she bides her time till college starts in the fall.
It was a sledgehammer in my heart… and not in a bad way.
My kids are twenty-seven, twenty-six, twenty-four, eighteen, seventeen, and five. My youngest will be starting school at the end of the summer and then I will have an empty house every day. My kids are all growing up and doing their own thing and I’m so proud of each and every one of them. Stephen is married and working like a dog, Josh and his girlfriend live next door to us and are building a life together, Beth and her fella have their own place and she goes to school, Chrissy graduated and has a great future ahead of her, Alex is entering his last year of high school and has one of the best attitudes of anyone I know, and Katie is my bunny girl she makes the days brighter.
For the first time in my nearly thirty-nine years on this planet, Fathers Day means something very different to me. This year it’s about me being a dad, not lamenting what my relationship with my father had become, although that wound is always going to hurt, and my ham-handed attempts to fix things. This year I’ll be concentrating on my kids, but I’ll still be thinking about my dad… he’s my dad and I love him.
The last six months have been life changing for me but this one may top them all.
I’m a husband, I’m a son, and most importantly I’m a father.
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