Happy Fathers Day!
I have a unique family situation... and by unique I mean entirely confusing.
I have 3 dads.
"How can that be?", you ask?
First, theres my moms first husband Jerry, Dad.
He and my mom met when I was just 8 months old and married when I was 3. I was the flower girl at their wedding. Ive always called him dad, and he's always referred to me as his oldest daughter. He taught me how to swim, how to ride my bike, how to change a flat tire on a car (remember the time I crossed the threads when putting the spare on the Mazda and it ended up costing something like $400 to fix? oops. Sorry about that). I was about 9 years old when I found out he wasnt my actual father. While I may not have been a complete hellian, I WAS NOT an easy child. I was a smartass, challenged everything he said, stuff like that. I think I'm responsible for a lot of the gray hairs on his head.
While we haven't always gotten along, and we've had more than our fair share of screaming matches, I am proud to call him my dad. Because he didnt HAVE to be my dad... he chose to be my dad, and thats what makes him so special to me.
Here he is opening the gift gave him for Fathers Day. A photo of us together when I was about a year and a half old.
My father, Andrew.
We met about a month before my 16th birthday. I get my sarcastic, snarky tendencies from him... as well as my tendency to chain smoke.
He's taught me about finances, how to drive in the snow, and most importantly....
how to sneak booze into "dry" events (note that we're both holding glasses in the photo.... looks like punch? Well, it originally was.... until I pulled a bottle of rum out. He said "thats my girl" and I'll swear there was a tear in his eye).
Then theres my maternal grandpa. Papa Pete.
He passed away a year and a half ago. This is my second fathers day without him, but it hasnt gotten any easier.
He built the treehouse and swings that my cousin Erin and I played on when we were kids.
I can't even begin to list everything I learned from him.
One of the biggest things I did learn from him was to fight through everything thats thrown at you.
6 months before he passed he had a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. Once he came home from the hospital I would work with him everyday to walk to the end of the driveway and back, to get the littlest bit of movement back in the small finger on his right hand. He would guide me through making small repairs on mine and my grandmas cars, we would watch movies together - from Clint Eastwood westerns, to Meet the Parents, and Anne of Green Gables.
I miss you, Grandpa.