I'm lucky that I was adopted by my Mother and Father -- as they say they "chose" me. George is the Dad who raised me -- and he passed away a few years ago. I've written about Dad in the past -- and how to this day some things will cause me to tear up. Being the oldest son I was fortunate in many ways. And although Dad and I were about as different as two people can be, he was my Dad and I know he loved me as I loved him. As I was writing this, I went looking for some pictures, and I was surprised I really don't have many. Maybe its because Dad was always the one taking the pictures. But this one is perhaps one of the best. It was taken in the early 70s, we were in Canada on a lake somewhere going fishing. The sun is shining and Dad's smiling.
After my parents divorced and we grew up and moved our separate ways Dad lived in Phoenix for a time -- the same time I was going to Graduate school and for a while after. He moved back to Salt Lake and married again while I stayed in Phoenix and then moved up to Seattle. Dad and I didn't spend a lot of time together after that -- just the holiday's when I'd come home to SLC, or in the Seattle airport as he was flying to Alaska to go fishing. When he died in 2007 I was privileged to give the main eulogy. It was one of the most difficult things I've had to do. I mentioned some of it in a post here grgardner.livejournal.com/15054.html
My third father is Ron, the man who married my Mom back in 1986. People often think that Ron is my "real" father as we share a number of similar traits -- short, stocky, bald, talk loudly and with our hands, and we are both always right even when he's wrong and I'm not. We both love cars and motorcycles and skiing and reading and trying to one-up each other with BS stories.
Your Dad as a kid teaches you things like how to tie your shoe or mow the lawn or fish and how to drive. Your Dad as an adult teaches you how to be an adult -- how to be a man, and how to have the courage of your convictions and the willingness to take a risk. How to deal with loss, and pain and struggles. When my job was going nowhere and I was frustrated with it, it was Ron who helped convince me to set out on my own and open my own firm. It was a scary jump, but I haven't regretted it for an instant and is what made me the success that I am today and I'm indebted to him for that. Ron had his own firm up until he retired a few years ago, and we still share the same accounting firm to this day.
So in Target I found a card -- I only had to send the one this year. It made fun of an elderly Father's computer skills, and was totally appropriate for Ron, since like me, he has the patience of....well, he has no patience, that's the point -- another reason folks think he's my "real" Dad. George is gone and I miss him. Bio-Dad I never knew nor will I ever, but I said a silent "thanks" to him as well. And to Ron -- my grown-up Dad -- Thanks. I don't know what kind of man I'd be without you having been there.