With Father’s Day coming up it has had me thinking about my dad more than ever. I think about him everyday, this time of year I get deeper in thought. Others may reference my dad as my “Step-dad”. I never thought of him as anything other than my dad because to me being a dad is NOT always about biology.
My father came into my life after the divorce of my biological father and my mother. I was quite young and frankly can’t remember him not being around. When my mom and him first started dating I wasn’t too sure of this guy, I loved having my mommy all to myself and didn’t want to share her with anyone.
Throughout my childhood and adulthood he was there through some very turbulent times. There were moments I’m sure he wished he never knew me, I was a pretty rebellious teen and young adult. No matter how hard things got he never walked away from me, in fact he dug down and helped me pull my life out of shambles. He was able to instill in me values and beliefs that I am proud to carry. He loved me when he didn’t have to and maybe shouldn’t have.
When my husband died and I was left alone with 6 kids he carried me through some dark times. He loved my kids as his own grandchildren; in fact his only grandchildren. Did he have to do this? No, he chose to. He could have just co-existed with me growing up but he chose to be my dad. He had this undeniable unconditional love for me.
I have recently begun to share the tragic and traumatic night my parents died, you can read what I have shared about that horrific night here. Some may think their death should change how I feel about my dad, but it doesn’t. I love him, unconditionally. If you haven’t ever heard the poem about your life importance being about The Dash between date of birth and date of death please read it here.
I have this unconditional love for this man who cared for me what seemed like my whole life; with no biological relationship to me. This bond of love is greater than blood. Do I have to love this man even after what has happened? No, I have chosen to. Being a dad is NOT about Biology. I knew unconditional love because I felt it growing up, I was taught about it from the Bible. I didn’t truly know the meaning until that night that shattered my life, I was able to find this love through the horrific death of my parents.
After the painful death of my husband and then the tragic loss of my parents I didn’t think I would ever fall in love again. I figured I had my hands full with my crazy pack of kids. I was wrong, with the help of a woman who loves me by choice as a daughter, I found my husband. The biggest factor in meeting someone was the fact I have so many children. Six is a huge number for any man or woman. He chose to take us on, and has shown me how to love again, to have faith and to know you are able to find happiness even through the deep pain of loss.
It took some adjustments for everyone….. Oh my, I can still see some of our crazier moments. I sure tried to get everyone to act as normal around him as possible. Before long he saw through our charade and saw our chaos. He looked at me one day with the sweetest and most gentle voice and said your lives are “Controlled Chaos”. He was right, and at times I’m not sure we have any control! He fell in love with all of us and our calamity. To accept all of us, the good and the bad, you know it has to be unconditional love.
We have since added to our family and increased the mayhem of our household. Neither of us would change a thing. I have loved every moment of seeing him work with the kids on such a gentle loving level. I sit back and get to take a breather when he disciplines the children and lets them know it’s so they can go on to be productive members of our society. My husband explains to them he wants them to grow as people because he cares not because he has to. He supports these children, loves them and nurtures them. Does he have to? No, he chooses to love them.
They in return have chosen to love him as their dad without taking from their biological fathers love and memory. My husband has worked very hard to let our children know that he is not there to take their father’s place. He understands and accepts their need to love their dad that passed away. Through this, their love for him has grown and blossomed and the bond they have with my husband is genuine and deep. They have unconditional love for my husband not because they have to, they have chosen to.
I read a wonderful story about a woman’s gift of having 2 families and the love she gives her dad no matter the time they have had apart. Take a look at what Kim from Life in a House of Testosterone wrote MY Dad’s First Father’s Day in 47 years.
Each of our family’s look different, that’s what makes life so incredibly wonderful. There are amazing dads all over. No matter who is there loving you, having this love whether it be from a biological family member or not is all that matters. I have been blessed to be loved by many wonderful people, this is a gift. It’s priceless to know the meaning and feeling of giving and receiving unconditional love.
Who is that special person in your life that you think of on Father’s Day, whether be your dad or someone else? What does unconditional love look like to you?
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