A Tribute To The Men That Deserve To Be Called Dad
Dads and fathers
There is an old saying that goes, "Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad." I've also seen this said the other way around, "Anyone can be a dad, but it takes a special man to be a father." Though the words can be flipped, the meaning implied remains the same. Through the events of my childhood the meaning implied by this saying took root, and my mind made its own slightly harsh and blunt way to say it, "Anyone can be a sperm donor, but it takes a real man to be a father and a dad." Anyway you choose to say it the meaning is still implied, and I wholeheartedly believe in it.
I dedicate this article to my dad, along with the others listed below, and to all of the real dads and fathers in this world, and you know who you are. You are men that humbly make sacrifices for the life of another. Men that patiently teach their children (be they of their own blood or not) the skills and values they need to become strong valued and intelligent adults.
If anyone would like to mention their own father, or a father they believe deserves to be recognized feel free to do so in the comment section at the bottom.
I have never met my biological father. I know that this greatly affects some people, but to me personally it just has never been that big of a deal. While I won't go in to depth about my childhood suffice to say that it wasn't always easy. There are many kids that have gone through much worse, but I recon there are also many that didn't. Though I got to grow up kind of quick my concept of a father was quite simply someone to fear.
Then a man came in to my life that changed all of that. When my mom told my brother and I that she was dating someone we were both furious. I don't believe either of us wanted to have another man in our lives that we had to live in fear of. Eerily and without choice we accepted this man in to our lives with no idea what laid in store for us. looking back now, I'm sure it was just as terrifying of a situation for him, as he had no children of his own. Not too mention my brother and I weren't always the most well behaved.
This man came in to our lives and naturally fell in to place where he belonged the entire time. He became the dad I never knew existed. He was patient, kind, and friendly. He taught me things and encouraged me in any way he could, and still does to this day. He has stood by me through thick and thin. When I made mistakes he would discipline me appropriately, and instead of becoming furious he would simply explain why what I had done was wrong.
When I called him at four in the morning and told him I wrecked my truck, he hopped out of bed and came to pick me up. He never got mad despite how stupid I was being, just simply explained to me the errors of my decision. He made me do the truck repairs myself, but he helped me the entire time.
He has always stood by me and even to this day he helps me anyway he can. He has been the best friend and mentor I could have ever asked for. I doubt I would even be alive if it wasn't for him, and definitely wouldn't be the man I am today. There is no way I can ever repay him for all that he has done for me. It is truly an honor to be able to call this man my dad.
My dad has been a father figure to many other people over the years, and has earned more respect from more people than I think he even realizes. As a good friend of mine recently said, "He's kind of like everyone's dad."
This man raised several of his own children teaching them the value of family and hard work. He has lived to see his efforts and sacrifices come to fruition through the lives of his 5 children, too many grandchildren to count, and a few great grandchildren.
When two of his grandchildren didn't have a father, he stepped up to the plate and assumed that role. He spent time with the two troublesome boys and helped shape them in to strong men that understood that nothing in life is free. He also encouraged them and stood by them even when they were being stupid. This man deserves the highest respect for not only being a father to his own children, but for taking on that burden for the next generation as well.
This man was never really a man until he had children of his own. He used to have a lot of problems keeping himself out of trouble. He would be the first to admit that he wasn't always a great person and he had a lot of bad vices, but that all changed when his son was born. Even though today he is going through some rough times, he has held it all together and refuses to be beaten down because his little boy is his first priority. I am very proud of the man he has become.
This man always puts his kid first. He never puts his own desires ahead of the needs of his child. I have watched him make many sacrifices over the years simply for the purpose of offering his son the best life that he can give him and be a part of. I have seen this man struggle to feed himself so that he could get his son new baseball shoes and a new glove, and he did so without thinking twice about it. He takes his son everywhere with him and is always patiently teaching him and letting him experience new things.
The Po Po
This man has grown up a lot in the past few years and his kids are big part of the reason why. To no one's surprise he has become an amazing father. He does everything he can to cherish every moment with his little ones. He gave up a higher paying job so that he could be able to come home everyday to spend time with this family. When his girls are old enough I'm sure they will learn the finer points of shooting guns, hunting, and making their own knives.
This is actually The Po Po's father and as the old saying goes, "Like father like son." This man raised his son to be the honorable and kindhearted man that he is today. I've always had the up most respect for this man, but this past year my respect grew even more as I witnessed the shear will power of this man. He had to bury one of his children, and I believe that is a harder thing to do than I can ever possibly imagine, and yet through it all he stood strong and held his family together with an unrelenting determination simply because that was what he had to do.
This man was a true a friend and father to anyone that needed one simply because that was just how he was. He raised his own daughter to be tough and wise, but also raised an ungodly number of nephews nieces and family friends. He always put his little girl first and today she is a strong woman because of it. I'll never forget when I was a teenager this man came over to the house and took me out in the yard with a few pairs of socks. My mother nearly had a conniption when he told me to put the socks on my hands because I was going to learn how to box. He said it was a skill I needed to learn, and that he wanted me to teach his daughter afterward because he wouldn't be able to bring himself to be rough enough with her to make her learn to defend herself. I never met another person like him and he was one of the greatest father figures in my life. May he rest in peace.
This man was the most lazy and lethargic bum I ever met in my life until he had kids. He stepped up and wholeheartedly took on the role of a dad for a kid that wasn't his own and has had two more since. He works himself to death everyday trying to make a better life for his family, but also makes the time to spend with his kids. He takes his little boy everywhere with him to the constant plea of, "Twuck?"
The Indian's Dad
This man took the role of a second dad to all of the friends of his kid. He has stood by all of us and offered perspective and wisdom whenever any of us needed it. He was never judgmental or harsh, and treated the whole gang as if they were his own. Even when they were on hard times he would make sure that all of his kids, including his actual kids and the ones he claimed were fed and didn't go without.
This man has more kids of his own than I can count. A while back a young lady had a baby and she wasn't sure she could keep it. Edgerin and his wife volunteered to adopt this child. They knew sacrifices would have to be made, and Edgerin willingly agreed to give up his favorite pass time to be a father to this newborn child. When the mother decided that she wanted to keep her child, Edgerin moved the girl and the baby in with his family and became a father figure not only to the newborn, but to the teenage mother as well. He has had to make a lot of major sacrifices to be there for his huge family, but he has done so every time without the slightest hesitation.
The other dads
I wish that I had the time to go on, but I simply don't. There are a lot of people that have influenced my life in good ways and stepped in to the father figure role for me when I needed it. Even though many of them will never see this article, including some of the ones mentioned in it, this is my little way of saying thank you and showing appreciation for making the world a better place.