I was seven years old when I last saw my father alive. A daddy's girl, it broke my heart when we dropped him off at the airport, never to see him again. At the time I didn't understand, and perhaps I never will, but I waited too long to reconnect. He died, never having met his grandchildren.
I was thirty-three the first time I met the man I now call "Dad." An acquaintance at the time had one that I borrowed and refused to give back, for isn't life as much about the family you acquire as the one you were born with? If you're a praying person, please say one for him--his health is declining.
Then there's my mother--a single parent when single-parenthood still raised eyebrows. She did the best she could to see me and my siblings raised, filling the role of both father and mother. Did we see eye to eye all the time? No, but what mother and daughter do? It's part of growing up and developing my own (slightly bizarre, if you ask my family) personality. But she's proud of me now, and I'm very proud of her.
To the three "Dads" in my life: I love you, and the role you fill in my life is precious. Happy Father's Day.