Just as Mother’s Day weekend in North America can be loaded for many, let’s acknowledge this can be the same on Father’s Day when you have a checkered or even wounded history. Just because you contributed to creating life does not make you a True Father. Like in May, I am here to serve the son or daughter whose reality is one of absence or irresponsibility.
Recently, I vocally renewed my stance that friends are the family I choose for myself. Blood may flow thicker than water; not for me. When I look around my select cherished circles, I find many terrific Dads. They are to be admired for their dedication and obvious joy in bringing up decent sons and daughters. Some are adoptive. Some are straight. Some are gay. Many biologically created life. No matter what, I love and am inspired by all these guys!
A few months ago, it was such a privilege to gather around a dinner table to witness three generations of males from the paternal side of our small family group. Fifteen years my senior, my cousin healed many of my core maternal issues when we did an extensive 2009 driving tour around Germany. Honestly a reluctant Dad, I applaud him for the bond he is now forging with his grandson. I pray he is helping to heal long-standing dynamics for generations to come.
Then there the uncle (my mother’s brother) whom I did not get to know because he was ironically killed seven days before WWII ended. His loss accompanies me to this day. Thank goodness for my paternal uncle. Though our family gatherings were rare, I managed to craft a meaningful written connection in my 30’s and 40’s before he passed away. I came to realize he understood my growing-up anguish. His relationship with my father was layered. I get it.
Find Your Role Models
Via these various personal examples, I yet ask: Where can you locate some positive male models beyond the scope of your immediate family-of-origin?
The answer may well reside in men around you. For instance, my latest call with a coaching client reveals how much he yearns to make a difference with his energy-sensitive nephew. Not a father himself, he recognizes this young man’s pain. I have every confidence he will make an impact.
Stay tuned for how I honor my father with integrity.