Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Father's Day Tribute

A Tribute to my Father

My father wasn't the perfect man.  He made a lot of mistakes in his life because he was very impulsive.  He didn't like to follow rules or even listen to other people.  He did whatever he wanted when he wanted and was very much a free spirit.  He was a hard man to be around, and my mom put up with him 30+ years.  My father and mother had four children together.  They shared many things in life.  My parent's struggles were the same, and they faced their struggles together. My father was by no means an easy person to live with, and my parents had separated various times mostly because my father had become too much.  Sometimes my father drank and was unfaithful to my mother, and sometimes he could be very cruel, but he loved his children, and he sacrificed his own liberties so that we could live a better life.  As an American, where many children are raised in broken homes, I was very fortunate to be raised in a home with both biological parents.  I grew up in a traditional family life.

My father could be the nicest guy, and the meanest person you ever met all in one.  When I was very young, some of my family were talking about my father, and they taught me that people are not black or white, but a mixture of things.  Most people are a shade of gray, and that's what my father was not fully evil, and not fully innocent.  He had his faults and he had his good points, and no matter what choices he made in life, he was always going to be my father.  Nothing could change that.  For many years I harbored much resentment towards him for mistreating my mother so badly.  I was angry with the way my father treated me.  He was mean and unkind.  He did not ever apologize.  I just learned to forgive him.  He wasn't going to change so the best I could do was to accept him as he was for the good and for the bad too.

I'm glad that I got a chance to forgive him before he died.  I never got a chance to say "good-bye." He was murdered in May 2008, and it is still an open case in Humboldt County California. Some people might say that his meanness caught up to him, that he got what he deserved, but I don't believe in killing.  I don't believe in murder.  No one deserves to die that way.  No child should ever have to grow up without a father.  Even a mean father is better than no father.  He did his best to be there.

My father taught me how to tie my shoe laces.  He taught me how to ride a bike.  He took me fishing and helped me catch my first fish.  He was very proud of my photographs, and had many of them with him found scattered among his things when he died.  My father was very proud of me, as he was all of his children.

It's hard going through Father's Day without him.  I know that people say, "Find the courage to let go of what you cannot change..." I want to know what happened, how he died. I can't let it go ever. I'm stubborn like my mom, and as long as I live, I will never let go.  I will hold on to the bitter end.  I know this much about myself.  

My father died very young.  I question my own life, if I died tomorrow, what would I have to show for it.  Life is short.  I realize you only have so much time here to make a difference.  You only have one chance to be who you want to be, and to do the things that you love.  My father's last words to me were to be honest, and be loyal. Be kind to other people. Chose your friends wisely, and don't be afraid to take risks, be adventurous.

This is my tribute to him.  This day is for my father, as we remember him, we think back.  This day for the is a tribute for many other fathers that have worked so hard raising their children.  This day is for the single moms for pulling double duty.  This goes to the foster dads and step-dads too who raised kids that are not biologically theirs, but have enough heart to care for the lives of another. Father's Day is for my Uncle Sean McKittrick, my mom's only brother, who has been the best stand in dad all of these years.  Father's Day is for my mom's boyfriend, Billy Conn, who has treated all the kids like family. I feel blessed to have had many good male role models that have helped to shape me into a better person.  For that, I am forever thankful.

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