Being a “Father” does not require a label

When I was thirteen year’s old, I met a man.  A man I didn’t care for much at first, but who grew to be a big influence in my life.  A man I miss many days since his passing, but I know that his presence is always with me.  He gave me direction, he taught me to be responsible, to laugh, to have a sarcastic sense of humor that was not hurtful to others, to love unconditionally, to invest for the future, and many other things.  I am where I am today because of his influence. 

It’s hard on Father’s Day for me because during my eight years of high school and college, I evolved to where my idea of what “Father” meant changed forever.  I won’t get into the details here, but without anyone asking… he stepped up to play a very influencial role in my life and for that I am forever grateful.  He filled a sort of empty space in my life that I never knew was there until his last days with us.

I called him my “step” father, but he was more than that.  I know he knew that too, because that label was just not sitting right with either of us.  He would laugh when I said it and say… “ok step” whatever you say.  He was sort of a “tough love” guy, and while I had my days of frustration sometimes, in the end every experience we had together taught me something.  He was there for many of my major life milestones, and again for that I am grateful.

Please consider on this day of “fathers” that even though someone in your life (or the life of our children) may not have the official “label”.  Many men out there have the power to influence the lives of the children around us.  It’s an important role that does not require a label… only love.

Today, I think of both my “father” and my “step” father with gratitude.  They both taught me lessons, but the most important lesson of all is that each of us plays a role in the lives of those around us… especially the children.  No matter how small it may seem, you sometimes never really know the impact you have on shaping the character of someone else.

Thank you to all those fathers out there today, whether you have the official label or not.  You do make a difference.

Love and Light,

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