A Life Worth Binge Watching
S2 E7 My Three Dads
I consider myself lucky. Not everyone can say that they had a loving father that loved them unconditionally. Some people may have never even met their dad, or did not have one who was present in their life. For me, I was blessed to have the love of three amazing men who played different roles, but each contributed to my life in a special way. They are my heroes. Since this weekend is Father’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to these men who shaped my life.
Of course, I will start with my birth father, the man who adored me from the moment I came into this world and has loved me ever since. I can remember how he made me giggle every time he made his silly turtle face and oinked like Arnold the pig. He worked a lot, but he was always at my ballet recitals and I knew I was his little girl. He would take me to his softball games and I’d cheer him on when I wasn’t playing in the dirt!. As the years flew by, and I grew older, our relationship grew stronger. When I moved away to North Carolina, he helped me get settled. That trip was the pivotal point of our relationship. We both sobbed as he drove away. From that point on, we talked all the time. We would stay on the phone during Miami Dolphins games so we could commentate the play-by-play disasters of our failing team because as they say, misery loves company. This commiserating would have been so much easier with Facetime, but at least I had a cordless phone!
A couple of years later, I decided to move back home, as this Florida girl was not a fan of driving in the ice storms. I went back to college and decided that Dad needed a new hobby. He played in a band when he was younger so I convinced him to start a new one. I would spend the next ten years listening to him sing with his band at various venues. It made me so proud to see him on stage and his voice truly melted me. He even wrote a song for my wedding, which was one of the original songs he wrote and performed on an original CD. He taught me how important it is to chase my dreams and work hard for what I want. He introduced me to all the greatest music and we have the same sense of humor and writing ability. We have endured a lot together over the years, heartaches, loss, health concerns and Miami Dolphins games. That’s my Dad, and I love him.
When I was six, my parents divorced. It happens. A few years later, my mom would meet the man that would be the “bonus” dad in my life. From the first time I met him, he treated me like I was special. I can remember one night, I crowned him “King Arthur” and I became his “princess”. These nicknames lasted for many years. One year for my birthday, he gave me a beautiful pair of gold initial “M” earrings. From that moment on, I knew he considered me as his own.
Through the years, we also have become closer. He provided the extra parental support through my teenage years and never treated me like a step-child. In his eyes, I was just as much his daughter, as his own blood daughter. As an adult, I respect him so much for all he has done. I also have an incredible friendship with him and really enjoy his company. I have traveled a lot with him and my Mom and many times we would stay up late talking over cocktails when Mom turned in early. He taught me the value of organization (I’m still working on that) and has proven that you don’t have to be a blood father to be a great dad. He also grills the best steak you will ever eat! That is my Bonus Dad, and I love him.
You may be wondering, who is the third man that had an impact on my life? I would be remiss if I did not mention the man who had a big hand in raising me, my Grandaddy. When I was young, I stayed with my grandparents when my parents worked and even lived with them off and on through the years. They also treated me as if I was their own child. I told you, I am a very lucky girl. I basically had Grandaddy wrapped around my little finger but he didn’t always let me know it! I remember one day, he had a new shed delivered to the house to store his tools and trinkets. When it arrived, I ran outside and threw my arms around him as I screamed, “You got me a playhouse!” Guess who got the shed (playhouse). He even installed a sink and electric in it for me. He had a huge heart but was not really good at expressing emotions. It’s ok though, his actions were enough and I knew I was the star in his sky. He would spend days on the roof installing thousands of Christmas lights and light-up figures in order to make our house the most Griswaldy-looking house on the street. He helped me get into my first house and proudly watched me graduate from college. He continues to watch over me from heaven every day. I miss him dearly. That’s my Grandaddy, and I love him.
I know you probably don’t have three dads like me, but I hope that you have or had at least one man in your life that you can celebrate this weekend. It may be an uncle or a friend, he may live nearby, far away, or even no longer with us. The point is to celebrate the special man who helped guide and mold you into who you are today. I also urge you to mend fences if they are broken, as life is short. Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads, Bonus Dads and Like Dads out there!
Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook. #ALifeWorthBingeWatching