Happy Father's day to the father that wasn't.
How do I write this without being sen as filled with rage? I simply write now because it's gone. You used to be my rage, but aren't anymore. So, I can write now.
You taught me many things even though you were not there. I guess it could have been worse. I could have been stuck in a house with a drunk redneck for a step-father. But I will save that post for next mother's day.
I could have learned that you can trust no one and that no other path leaders would be there to teach me to be a man. I didn't. I learned that when some fail, others step up to lead the fallen. D. Dalton, D. Kress and several others stepped up in your place and taught me what it took to become a man. I learned to shave on my own and from friends that were my age.
I could have learned that having a kid means that it was just a fling and it's not my responsibility. I didn't. I learned from example that I never would want to put a child of mine through that feeling of being unwanted and un-loved. I would like to think that it was all me, but my whole generation seemed to have learned from other people's mistakes. Hubris I have, but not that badly. I wanted to be a father. I always wanted to be a father, even when I was young. It's my revenge. My revenge to you is to be a professional father, someone who looks at his first job as being a parent. I'm not perfect, but I am a goddamn good father. I just stepped up to that role again with Rose. I first took on the job of being a goddamn good father with Blaine. He's one of the brightest and coolest teenagers around. IMO
I could have learned that there is no honor in the world. I didn't. I learned honor from trusting in my friends and having them trust in me. I have failed a time or two with my trust. It's a hard lesson to learn that trust is only given when earned and if you fail that, you fail yourself. My word is law for me. I am militant in that. There is honor, and there are honorable people in the world. I see them everyday. They stand out in this world. I hope I do too. If not, I know it. Sophocles wrote "Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud."
I could have learned to be envious of my friends families. I didn't. I learned that anyone can love you. I was adopted by every family I came into contact with, I've had many mothers and fathers in my life. They loved me for being me and I loved them all in return. I'm looking at you Jack Franklin. Some were for pity, sure. Others were because I was always a quirky and cool kid. Snarky at least.
I could have learned to be mad at the world and to be without humor. I didn't. I learned that we all get a fate and it's ours to choose what to do with it. I chose to find humor in most things and to laugh often. I do. I laugh at the funniest things, whether I am supposed to or not. I do rail and rage against injustice. Everyone should. I do get mad. I let my anger fly. It flies away from me and never comes back. I am free.
I could have learned that without religion there is no morality. I didn't. You're choice to have no part in my life came from a religious decision. Where is the morality in that? Instead I learned to think about my actions and my life and decide up front what my own code of morality would be. I learned from others. It's the only way.
And lastly I could have learned not to love. I didn't. I love strong and I love many. I love my family. I love my friends, some I have never met. My first instinct is to love someone. It takes a lot for me to not love someone. Love is it. I know that somewhere you have loved me. I know that somewhere you cry over the time you missed with me. That is all it takes. As a bug said "All you need is love."