June 15, 2008

Father's Day

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then you have read some things about my childhood, including the fact that my mother and father were divorced when I was a baby, and that I never knew my biological father. I never remember seeing him at all, in fact, except for once, when I went to visit him for a few days when I was about three or four years old. The only thing that I remember about him, then, was that he bought me a little necklace, and before the two or three days were over, he took it back, and pawned it for some bootleg whiskey. That's the only memory that I have of my "real" father.

You will remember that as a little girl, I longed for a daddy..a real daddy, like other little girls had, and how happy I was when Mama remarried, and I saw him for the first time, walking up a dusty road toward my Big Mama's house, where I was staying while Mama worked in another town. From that time, from the moment that he swung me up onto his shoulders, to carry me the rest of the way home, I was Daddy's little girl--and my heart belonged to Daddy.

He was a widower with six children of his own, but he never treated me any differently, and as I heard him say to others, so often, I was like his own flesh and blood.

Daddy was not perfect, but then who is? He had a lot of faults--many of them, I have written about here, but he did one thing to perfection--he loved me, with an unconditional love.

Over the years, times were hard, and sometimes, he took it out on my mother, I know, and there were times when I wondered why she stayed with him--indeed, why she ever married him, and she told me, in no uncertain terms. "Because, Janice, I love him." It was just that simple for her, and for me, too. I loved him.

A few years ago, the man who swung me up into his arms, and onto his shoulders, died in my arms, as much as I could get my arms around him. His hand was in mine when he drew his last breath.

Yes, it's been years, but I still miss my Daddy.

If you are fortunate to still have your father with you..still able to see him, and to hug, and to tell him that you love him--please do.

For those of you whose fathers have passed on, cherish the precious memories that he left with you, and if you are a father, "Happy Father's Day!" I hope that you will strive to be the very best Daddy you can be.

And to my dear husband, I say, "Thank you, my Love," for being the wonderful role model that you've been to my sons-- who are not "flesh and blood," but are loved as though they were.