Sunday, June 14, 2015

For my dad: you weren't there, but then you were

Dad,

You weren't there the day I was born.
You weren't there when I first rolled over or took my first step.
You weren't there for my first words.
You weren't there the nights I went hungry or slept on the sidewalks.
You weren't there through the abuse or neglect.
You weren't there...

But dad... then you WERE there.
Dad and me when I was a child
Adoption day


You were there when you read a story of an 8 year old boy that needed a daddy.
You were there when my social worked first introduced us.
You were there September 17, 1993 when my adoption was final - you were truly my dad.

You were there when I screamed at you and made life difficult.
You were there when I thought that you would kick me out just like my birth father did.
You were there to comfort me when I was afraid of the dark.

You were there to teach me to ride a bike and how to throw a ball.
You were there to teach me to dive and how to swim.
You were there to teach me math and a love for reading.
You were there to introduce me to the worlds of Star Wars and Star Trek.
You were there to take me to see those movies - even into adulthood.

You were there to take me camping.
You were there to hold my hand as I was terrified of roller coasters.
You were there at my little league and soccer games.
You were there at my band concerts.

You were there to straighten me out as my grades slipped.
You were there to take me on college visits.
You were there as I filled out applications and got accepted to my dream college.
You were there when I needed a place to stay for summers.

You were there to sit with me on the roof of your house and talk about life.
You were there for dinners as we talked about my future.
You were there to gently guide me along the way.
You were there to push me when I need pushing.
You were there to hold me when I needed comforting.

You were there when I started working full time.
You were there when I quit my job and moved to Africa.
You were there to take me to the airports and pick me up when I came home on visits.
You were there to give me a place to rest my head on those same visits.

Dad, you taught me well.

You taught me how a man ought to love.
You taught me to open the car door for women.
You taught me always to be present for the ones I love.
You taught me to hold the door open for those behind me.

You taught me to be happy.
You taught me to chase my dreams.
You taught me to be responsible.

You taught me to how to drive a car.
You taught me how to do my taxes.
You taught me how to work a computer.

You taught me to work hard.
You taught me to always give 100% in any job.
You taught me to be patient.
You taught me to have fun and not be too serious all the time.

Dad, you raised me well.

You raised me to be a strong man.
You raised me to believe in myself.
You raised me to love others.
You raised me not to settle for anything less than my own happiness.

Dad, overtime someone says "you were raised well" I smile because it was you who raised me.

Dad, you brought me up well. I am the man that I am because of you. You were the daddy that I wanted as a child and you're the father that I love as an adult. And now it's my turn to be there for you. You raised me from a scared, little boy into a confident young man. When I was 8 years old you were a stranger that invited me into his home and into his family. Now, 23 years later, you are not a stranger. You are my father and you are my friend. I love you dad. Get well soon. You still have more to be there for. I need you to be there when I get married and have children. I need you to be there when I buy a house. I need you, dad. I have so much more to learn from you.

I love you dad,