Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Two Dads

I posted Friday about my kid's dad. Now I'd like to tell you about my Dads. Yes, plural. Not that unusal. My Mom and Biological Dad (aka "Bio Dad") divorced when I was 8 years old. She met my 'Brit Dad' when I was 11 (He was from England). What a lucky, lucky girl I was...I have always been a Daddy's girl and having two, well, let's just say I never wanted for much.

I spent a lot of time with my Bio Dad as a young child. I would watch him work in his workshop (make stained glass, build things with wood, work on cars, etc) acting as his little assistant. I would curl up in his lap and watch CHiPS while snacking on Peanut Butter and Jelly on saltine crackers. I remember having nightmares in the middle of the night and he would come in and read to me from the Bible until I fell asleep. We were very close.

Then came my 3rd Grade year. Mom and Bio Dad divorced. My world changed. I saw my Dad every other weekend when he would take me and my brother to my Grandmother's house. He began dating my now stepmother, who had 3 young girls of her own to raise. Bio Dad is a huge hearted man. These girls didn't have much of a Dad and mine felt they needed him, somewhat more than we did. It was a pretty rough time in my childhood. A therapist actually told my Mom that I would forever have trouble with men because of my relationship with my father...what a guilt trip they laid on her!

Mom met Brit Dad when I was 11. I still remember the first time I saw him. He drove a very cool sports car and was showing the house across the street (they were both in real estate together). He was so nice! Brit Dad invited us all over to his house where he cooked for us, it was so yummy! He even had a pet rabbit, how cool was that to an 11 year old girl??  Mind you, this was a 'gift' from his ex-wife, not a pet of his choosing.

Brit Dad and Mom married the December of my freshman year of high school. He quickly became a very special part of my life. I joined Navy ROTC (yes I know I was a nerd) just to have something in common with him (he was in the British Royal Navy for 30 years). I was selected to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis for a 2 week Summer program and he was so proud of me.

When I was sandwiched between a dump truck and 18 wheeler on the interstate in a bad car accident he is the one I called. I still remember him following the ambulance up the side of the interstate. When someone tried to cut him off, thinking he was just chasing the ambulance, he yelled out the window, "that is my f**ing daughter up there" they quickly moved out of his way.

Brit Dad and I grew very close. As I became a wife and mother that bond just increased exponentially. We debated politics, he taught me History, taught me about Shiites and Sunnis, I mean you name it in world affairs and he and I probably discussed it. It was terrific to have someone to discuss and learn so much from. I miss our debates, our deep conversations, him...immensely.  You see Brit Dad died from a very aggressive Brain Tumor in April of this year, six months after his initial diagnosis.

Bio Dad was there during this awful time. He was at the visitation and funeral to support me while my Step Mom watched my youngest children. Bio Dad is here anytime I need him. All I have to do is pick up my phone and call him and he is on his way, even though it's an hour and a half between our houses. Bio Dad treats my husband like a son and teaches him so much. He and I seem to have some sort of connection. All I need to do is think about him for a little while and inevitably my phone will ring.

I am a very lucky Daddy's Girl. I was fortunate enough to have two Dads that considered me their daughter. Bio Dad walked me down the aisle, Brit Dad stood by my husband during the wedding. They were both present at the birth of all 3 of my children. They have been around for every baptism, birthday and holiday. Well, at least up until April of this year.

I now have a hole in my heart that I don't know how to fill. However I am very grateful for the time I had with Brit Dad and very fortunate to have been lucky enough to have had two Dads most of my life.

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