My parents divorced when I was four. In a very stereotypically nasty fashion. My mom remarried when I was 7 to a nice guy. He wasn’t a bad step-father. He gave me a couple of brothers. And since I wasn’t able to see my “real” father much growing up, I really considered my step-dad to be my father. I called him daddy. I called my birth father “Billy”.
But then I moved away on my own. A rather dramatic story that I’ve mentioned before. And my relationship with the man that had raised me was severed. I don’t blame him for not reaching out, or building bridges. I fully understand the situation he was in, and it wasn’t a pretty one. He had his own sons to think about.
But you know what they say about how God opens a window when someone farts on their life. Or something like that.
The day I moved out of my mother’s home, I called my birth dad. Honestly, I had always been fond of the guy, just unable to have a relationship with him because of hostilities between my folks.
That was more than 11 years ago now, and we’ve more than made up for what we lost in my childhood. He’s visited us almost everywhere we’ve ever lived, and we even invaded his house for 8 months when we first moved back home after separating from the Air Force. Most weekends you can find him at our house, reading books to Three Year Old, doing all of my handy man work, and sleeping on our couch.
Truth is, we entered into his life at the exact time that he needed it. Years of working hard and drinking hard ravaged his health, leaving him with the black and white choice of alcohol or life. His grandbabies became a reason to care, a reason to stay the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, the past can’t be erased. His health remains fragile and I wonder about it a lot. So I truly appreciate and never take for granted each day we get with him. Cause you just never know how many weekends are left in this life.
Life’s a funny thing. You never know what odd twists and turns it may hold. Or how relationships might be redeemed. Or broken.
I don’t call my dad “Billy” anymore. And I don’t call my step-dad “Daddy”.