Friday, June 7, 2013

What defines a Father?

My family is full of step-relatives, half-siblings and people I call relatives that aren't "technically" related to me.  Among all the obvious reasons, my wedding was an amazing occasion for me because (almost) all these people were all in one place at one time, which never happens.  I am a really lucky woman to be loved by so many people.

This picture was later in the evening so it is missing quite a few family members.
With Father's Day looming the question of what defines a Dad has been looming in my head a lot. Until five years ago, I had only ever seen two photos of my biological father (let's call him SD for short) and had no idea I had 3 half-siblings.  The event of me meeting SD and why I am not  currently in contact with him is for another post (maybe).  I call my Mom's Best Friend from college "Dad" and consider John (My step-dad for about 10 years) the man who raised me during adolescence.  If John was still present in my life, I am pretty sure I would of had both of them walk me down the aisle.  I tried desperately to track John down before the big day with no luck.

Pardon the Rehearsal Photo, thanks to my bad photographer I have no photos from the day of,
thanks Tzeira for capturing this one!
But what defines a Dad?  Do the words Daddy, Dad, Father all mean the same thing to you?  Obviously if both your biological parents are still married and the only two people who raised you, this is an easy question for you but it is one I struggled with a lot.  I got very angry when SD tried to insert himself in my life and have me call him Dad.  He was and still is a stranger to me and I think part of that (on his side) is because I would not let him "have the title" of Dad.  To me, that word is earned and not a right (like drivers licenses, right? ha).  This all probably sounds silly to anyone who has never dealt with this, including SD, but it came down to reasons I won't divulge here. My family was behind me in the decision and I am glad I finally met him because I was able to meet one of my half-sisters who I am so glad is in my life now.  I was also able to see why my Mother and entire family are not a fan of SD, he is just not a nice or good person.  One of the joys of choosing who your family is, is that I don't have to have people like that in my life.  I second guess my decision every so often but Corey backs me up and reminds me of all the good I have in my life because of this decision.  I am sure when we have kids I may change my mind, but for now it is the right decision and I am completely at peace with it.

There is no one I would of rather danced with for my father-daughter dance.  Photo credit: Tzeira
In the end I wouldn't trade Dale for anyone.  We have totally opposite political views & he is not Jewish, but when we get together none of those things matter.  I just feel so loved and can spend hours just chatting with him.  He has always been there for me and my mom & tries desperately to get us to mend our relationship.  There are parts of my childhood I know we would of not survived if he was not there, I also know that there are parts of the last few years that I would of not survived without him.  So Happy early Father's Day Dad.  I love you more than I can ever express.

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