June is a busy month. Most are getting out of school, it’s a popular wedding month, summer has started, graduations galore, and of course Father’s Day!
I love Father’s Day. I love any excuse to celebrate. I love celebrating Chase and the wonderful father he is to Sharkie and our fur kids. I love watching others celebrate their amazing dads, granddads, uncles, or other amazing men in their life. But it always makes me a little sad, I don’t have a dad to celebrate.
Maybe you don’t either, if you don’t this post is for you.
Growing up I knew my Dad loved me. Problem was he could only love me and my brother in a way that was convenient for him. Unfortunately my dad was a 3rd generation alcoholic.
As a kid I knew my dad would be there for the important stuff. When you’re little that means holidays and birthdays. I only realized as an adult my mom had probably both begged and threatened to make that happen.
As I got older he was less and less reliable for even those occasions. Eventually my mom gave him a shape up or ship out ultimatum. Like so many addicts he left when I was 8ish. I saw him a few times a year until I was 16, I haven’t seen him since. My parents divorced after I graduated high school.
I have never admitted to a single non familial soul in my life that my dad was an alcoholic who choose booze over his family. But I think it’s important to break stigmas. In 2021 we still don’t discuss alcoholism as much as we should. It still carries a stigma. Just as being a fatherless child does.
Everyone thinks they have the best mom on the planet but I actually do. My mom is the most amazing parent. She never taught me to hate my dad, never once vented to me how he treated her, she shielded me from a childhood of pain. All while teaching me to love, remember the good times, but to stand up for myself and know you don’t have to put up with things that aren’t right. My mom was patient and taught me that while alcohol isn’t evil, it’s addictive. Alcoholism can hereditary. Whenever I think about booze I thank Heaven for a mama who taught me that it was okay to enjoy in moderation, but like any drug it was warrants caution. My brother and I have broken 3 generations of alcoholism and her thoughtful parenting is 100% responsible.
When you grow up in a bad situation it can be so easy to blame yourself for what happened. As you grow up it can also be easy to blame your shortcomings on things you feel like you missed in childhood. For me I missed out on a normal Dad. Neither is the case.
It took me a while to get here. But I’m in a place now where I’m at peace being estranged from my dad. After Sharkie was born he wanted to communicate again. I was okay with doing so via social media because I didn’t want any regrets on my heart. I gave him a chance and he blew it.
That’s okay. When people, even family, show their true colors, believe them.
Sometimes I remember the good things about my dad. If he was home he usually wasn’t too busy to play board games. He made me pancakes on the weekends. Sometimes we played catch in the yard. It can be healthy to remember good in a person. No situation is 100% black or white. Not yours, or mine.
Still, a few happy memories aren’t enough to erase the hurt and the pain he caused. I don’t want a relationship with my dad, but Father’s Day is still hard.
The good news: Father’s Day isn’t exclusively for Dads. When I was little I had 3 amazing men to celebrate.
My amazing Grandaddy. He was always there for us. He took me for rides on the four wheeler. Came to my elementary school for birthday parties. He and my Nana took me on $100 shopping spree at Walmart every birthday. He gave me my first car, and nobody adjusted my side view mirrors better.
We’re as different as night and day. Eight years older than me, most people don’t even know I have a sibling. We fought like cats and dogs. But I could always count on him. Fixed my car, helped me with chores, always there for advice.
Lastly, my moms brother. The most amazing uncle ever. He sent me a card on every occasion. He always slipped me a little money, and bought all my favorite snacks.
Father’s Day can be hard. Growing up fatherless is hardly Having an alcoholic family member is hard. Both can come with such stigma. But you’re not alone. Others can relate. If sharing my story can help one of you reading, then it was worth sharing.
You are still worthy and chances are you have other remarkable men to celebrate. Whether it’s your husband, uncle, grandfather, brother, or step father.