Father’s Day, 2018.
This year is different. I have more love this year than before. I have always had plenty of love on this day, but this year is different. I have a different name to think of. I have a different face to think of. I have a whole new family to think of. I should think of it all, differently.
I have always had fathers and father figures in my life. I have always had family to think of, consider, and love. I have always had an idea of what the day means to me. I now have more information than before. I have more people to love than ever before.
This day is a day of celebration. This is a day for raised glasses, reclined chairs, lit cigars, cold beverages, and food made and delivered with love. This is a day for control of the remote, a favorite worn out old shirt, or a brand new unwrapped tie. This is a day of words unspoken, hugs received, smiles all around, and love out loud.
This day is for the biological dads, the step dads, the uncles in name, and the unnamed and unknown. The secret dads, the private dads, and the dads who linger in the masses trying to steal a glance from afar. This day is for the baby daddies, the uncle daddies, the coach dads, and the neighborhood dads. This day is for listening, teaching, providing, caring, redirecting, and loving.
I was never around the man I thought was my father. I believe that I can honestly say that I was around him three times that I can recall. I don’t love him any less, but I probably missed out on loving him much more. I hold no grudges. I have no regrets. I hold no grudges to the Walter’s or Jack’s of the world. They made their own choices. I made my own choices.
I have several dad figures who tried to add to my world. I should remember that this is a different time than before, and the world is different. I am who I am because of my choices and experiences. It is a great thing that I like who I am.
I have a step dad who dug his feet in, shared his heart, and fought the good fight for me. He stood next to me, he stood up for me, and he let go when he thought it was exactly what I needed at that time. He gave love, wisdom, several corny jokes, a handful of awful dances, and an amazing collection of him trying to sing. He donated his taste for Chivas Regal, his love of boxing, and his curiosity of why teams name themselves as they do. He loved me, which was all that anyone could ask. He loved me.
I now know exactly who my real father is. I could be sad that I wont ever get to meet him or shake his hand, or to exchange smiles with him. I can see him though, through my new-found family of amazing half brothers and sisters, beautiful nieces and handsome nephews, and an army of Garner men and women. I can see who he was, I can see who they are, and I can see myself in them. By knowing them, I can know him, and I can know myself.
This is a great year of life for me. The recent years have been world changing for me, and as the song says “change your obstacles into miracles” has been the constant mantra moving forward. I have been blessed with an amazing life family, an exceptional new family, and a loving marital family. And yes, I have you. I am constantly covered in love. I have had injuries and redirection. I have had pain and glory. I have had losses and victories. I am not unbeaten, but I am undefeated.
I hope that your day today is love filled. I pray that you have a loving memory of your father, your mate, your family, and your life. I will spend the day trying to honor some fathers I know. I did that today. I will do that tomorrow. I hope that they are proud.
Walter Pearson. Harold Eldridge, Sr. Roland Morgan. Robert Smith, Sr. James Garner. Darrow Kirkpatrick. Mr. Harris. Mr. Keaton.
Roy Smith. Robert Smith. Harold Eldridge, Jr.
Roy Garner. Wendell Garner. Tommy Garner.
Mr. Miller. Mr. Ethridge. Mr. Cephas. Mr. Perry. Mr. Miller. Mr. Cooper. Mr. Harris. Mr. Harris.
Mr. Dunlap. Mr. Livingston. Mr. Mullen. Mr. Wilson. Mr. Terrell. Mr. Baker. Mr. Pulliam. Mr. James. Mr. Bellamy. Mr. Price. Mr. Rosenthal. Mr. McGee. Mr. Butler. Mr. Williams. Mr.
Coach Laravie. Coach McKinney. Coach Holland. Coach Saunders. Coach Blackwell. Coach Reid. Coach Norwood. Coach Machen. Coach Garcia. Coach Houser. Coach Arbetman. Coach Noe. Coach Dwyer. Coach Ramsey. Coach Walker. Coach Cross. Coach Catoe. Coach Harrison. Coach Posati. Coach Cauthen. Coach Thompson. Coach Caffi. Coach Warren. Coach Craig. Coach Tabrizi. Coach Marshall. Coach Hoskins. Coach Johnson. Coach Hawes. Coach Larouche. Coach Crabb.. Coach Davila. Coach Carter. Coach Fields. Coach Gray. Coach Boudreaux. Coach Austin. Coach Milham. Coach Farrow. Coach Walker. Coach Bentley. Coach Willis. Coach Woods. Coach Pulliam. Coach Carrington. Coach Clements. Coach Glascock. Coach Hunter. Coach Smith. Coach Gold. Coach Jenkins. Coach Larkin. Coach Levin. Coach Leslie. Coach Matagi. Coach Gray. Coach Imbrescia. Coach Landrum. Coach Wykoff.
To all of my dads who love, and all of my dads who try to love. Thank you. To all of the dads who let me inside the gate, onto the front porch, in the front door, onto the couch, to the dinner table, to shoot hoops in the driveway, have something cold to drink or something hot to eat, and for loving me enough to tell me what I needed to know, even when it wasn’t always what I wanted to hear. For loving me. For loving someone like me. For loving someone else’s kid who needed you.