I did a lot of thinking about my biological father growing up. The things I saw him do and heard him say. I accepted his proclivity towards violence as the basis of his existence. He was a certifiably unstable person who left me with the biggest emotional mess to trudge through growing up. My biological father was not the voice of reason or strength. He commanded by threats and hostility. The greatest gift he gave me was dying. I have outlived his age, and for this I am grateful, but the heart of this blog is not with him.
It lies in what came after, and that was being adopted by one of the greatest set of parents from the Midwest. They have been the most patient, loving, and understanding throughout my years, child and adult. They recognized my uniqueness and allowed it to blossom. My dad accepted me for all my noticeable flaws, and never left my side when I thought he would. He took the time to teach me what life was about and allowed me to learn lessons as only one can do by her own. He gave me the birds and bees talk during a car ride so he is a man of many talents.
I usually send a humorous card for Father’s Day. This year was different. I sent him a much more serious card that pulled out, reiterating the fact how much I loved him and what he had done for me. He text me, thanks for the card, and that was it. He won’t ramble on if he doesn’t have too, and doesn’t feel the need to respond right away if he is busy. Our differences are the basis of our relationship. The similarities fill in the rest.
Referring to my biological father as a relation is for formality reasons only. The word father is a distant word to me because of him. The word dad has a better feel. My adoptive dad is who I recognize each year. He is the one who will continue to get my respect. While DNA is important, it doesn’t do any good if you can’t live up to its potential. My father fell way short of the mark. My dad actually crossed the finish line, and this is why I give a big nod to him. I wouldn’t be here without him, and thanks to all the dads out there who have been there for their children and are still there long after they grow up.