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I don’t talk about my father much. I don’t mention him on Facebook, or post pictures of me and him together growing up. I don’t think about him often like a good daughter should, in fact I try not to think about him and the past.
My parents divorced when I was 15, and it was one of the hardest times of my life. My father was verbally and emotionally abusive, but there was so much more than just that. So much more that no one ever knew.
As the years have unfolded, we started to realize that having him in our lives was more harmful than good. As more baggage from the past came out and as the past began to haunt me and my brothers, we decided to break all ties with my father.
We had had enough of the abuse and enough of the lies. I realized that one of the main causes of my stress and anxiety was from my father, and I knew it wasn’t healthy. We told him that if he ever chose to get help, we would like to reconnect, but up to this day, that has never happened.
Instead, we received calls, messages, and letters of blame. All things we learned to ignore and let go. But the hurt is still there. It always is and I think it always will be.
That’s what makes Father’s Day so hard. The fact that I used to cry myself to sleep wishing I had a different father. The fact that to this day I carry the baggage of the past and am still working through it. The fact that my father cares more about his fourth wife, then he does about ever meeting, seeing or even knowing about his grandchildren- my two beautiful kids.
But even when there is hurt, there can still be joy.
…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5.
Inspite of the hurts from the past, I have had the joy of watching my husband, the love of my life, become a father and grow as a father. From the day my son was born, my husband has stepped in as father and done more than I was ever able to experience as a child from my own father.
He feeds the kids, he helps with laundry, he changes diapers, he plays with them, and he says, “I love you.” He helps with potty training, he helps with disciplining. He helps teach them about God. He makes sure they have everything they need from clothes and shoes, to food and toys. And not only has he been an exceptional father in every way, every day, he has excelled at being a father to not one, but to two special needs children.
He has helped with therapy at home, learning how to feed my two kids in all the special ways they need to be fed. He’s learned how to do therapy brushing, and other therapy exercises and helps me remember when each child needs what.
He’s been with me to every specialist appointment that he could, every hospital visit that he was home for and for all the tests and procedures that both my kids have had to have done over the years. He’s been here for the good and for the bad.
And even when it’s gotten hard, because let’s be honest, no one plans on having two special needs kids that need so much more help and attention, he has still stuck around. He’s worked harder than he’s had to. Sold things to buy things we needed, got a second job when money was tight, and been there in every way he could.
Inspite of the the father I grew up with, I have had the privilege of seeing what a real father is like. My husband is a real father. And there is nothing like the joy of raising my two wonderful children with a father like him.
This Father’s Day, inspite of the hurts of the past, I found joy. Joy that there are still fathers out there like my husband, and that my children will grow up knowing such wonderful love from their father, my husband. We are so blessed.