My biological father was a really dead beat dad. He was a successful executive, and eventually lost it all because he was an alcoholic. He had visitation on Wednesdays and weekends. I remember as a young boy, my two brothers and I waiting on the porch for him on a Wednesday to pick us up. Eventually, we stopped waiting as time went by, and didn’t even bother to get ready for him to pick us up, because inevitably he never showed.
My mother married my second father or dad when I was five, a year after she divorced my father. He was a world war two vet, and highly strung. My eldest brother give him a hard time, my elder brother was neutral. To me, he was dad. He was strict, but he was always there for me. When I got sick in school, he was the one that I would call and he would be the one that picked me up. He was the funniest person I ever knew, and his sense of humour was bizarre, and I loved it.
I look at my two brothers, and they are serious men, like my father. Me, I love joking and seeing the lighter side of everything, like my dad. If it was not for my sense of humour, which I got from my dad, I would never have been as strong as I have been to face all the changes that happened to me in such a short time. My brother was diagnosed with a serious disease recently, one that is treatable and controllable with medication, but from his perspective, he is dead. Me, I eventually need a heart transplant, but I don’t dwell on it. The one I have is working, albeit with a little less power, but it is still working. That’s the attitude my dad had. He had diabetes and needed to inject insulin everyday and he never complained. Instead, he would wash out the syringes and we would use them as water guns trying to soak each other.
My dad died when I was 13, and I was devastated. I retreated into myself for years, only to emerge when I was 18. My father died when I was 29, and I have yet to shed a tear, because I never knew him. He was a stranger that fathered me. My dad was the man who married my mum and raised me. He was tough, but I loved him. And if it was not for his influence on my personality, I don’t think that I would be the man who I am today. and for that, I thank you dad. I love you, three words that I never did tell you when you were alive, but you knew that they existed between us. Thank you for letting me be me.