Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there! Daddy, Dad, Papa, Papi, Pa…or any other variation. As I reflect on my own father, a mixture of emotions come to the forefront. I love my dad, whom I lovingly refer to as “Daddy-o”. Growing up, my dad was my hero. I practically worshipped the ground he walked on. He was cool, funny and a blast to hang around. Yes, I was a “daddy’s girl” as a young child. But soon, times for our family got tough. My parents split up when I was nearing middle school. It was a devastating blow to all of us. I felt abandoned, even though he kept in touch. This played out in my life in the form of becoming a depressed and rebellious teen. (My poor mom handled my drama so well. Mad props – that is, much respect – to Mom). The divorce affected my performance in school, relationships and other areas in my life. It took me many years to heal from my parents’ divorce. It took lots of prayers and counsel from those wiser than me.
I’ll never forget when I first realized my dad was not superhuman, and that he was in fact a person with good qualities and flaws just like the rest of us. I had to come to terms with the fact that the ‘superhero dad’ of my youth was in fact, a mere mortal. I had to forgive him within my heart for the offenses for which I’d held him captive for many years, and accept the man I had come to know as an adult. A tough process, but one I’m glad I allowed myself to work through. So where do things stand with dad today? I love him. He’s still funny and the life of the party. I’ve come to him on more than one occasion for advice. And he still always knows when something’s bugging me. Is he perfect? Not at all. But neither am I. I love him as he is, warts and all. He does the same for me.