Getting Through Father’s Day

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Happy Father’s Day everyone. As some of you may know, my father passed away on December 31, 2018, of an obstruction in his lung after having colon surgery. Let me just start by saying that there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of him. So, Father’s Day is every day to me. But this will be the first Father’s Day that I didn’t get to spend with him. I wanted to dismiss this day every time I was reminded of it this past week. But I can’t.

Instead of looking at this day as a day of sadness, I decided to look at it as a day of love. For every father out there, who have devoted their lives to raising their children to be the best that they can possibly be; this day is for you. Anyone can be somebody’s “Baby Daddy” but it takes a real man with courage, strength, and stamina to be a father. Especially when he has no idea what the hell he’s doing. Parenting is a tough job and it’s not for everyone. But sometimes you are thrust into it by the seat of your pants and you are given a choice. To own up to it or run away from it.

My father raised three kids. Two boys and a girl. And as far as I’m concerned, he did a hell of a job. Some people have fathers that are a complete nightmare and never should have owned up to the responsibility if they weren’t up to the task. My father wasn’t perfect and although he made some mistakes along the way, he was not a nightmare.

As a parent, you try to do your best to teach them right from wrong and you do everything you can to ensure that they have a good life. But I’ve noticed that many fathers think that in order to be a father, you have to be hard all of the time and keep a certain amount of distance. No, “I love you,” no affection. And kids never turn out right as a result of it. Kids need structure and discipline, yes, but more than anything else…they need love and parents that they aren’t afraid to talk to. I am a strong advocate for saying I love you to people that I care about and my son has never known what it feels like to not be told those three words. He got it from me, and his dad all of his life. If he hadn’t, I strongly believe that my son would not have turned out to be the wonderful, strong and caring young man that he grew up to be and I’m very proud of him.

Throughout my life, my father never told me he loved me and ran the house with an iron fist. He waited until he was in the hospital contemplating not making it out of surgery to finally tell me those three simple words. He died a week later. And sadly, I always knew it would be this way. That I wouldn’t get to hear him say those three words until he was going to die. If he had said it throughout my life, maybe we would’ve been closer.

I miss my dad very much. And will remember him as the man who was a strict disciplinarian and a didn’t take any shit kind of guy. But also the man who used to hold my hand every time we crossed the street, the man who bought me everything I ever needed in life, the man who taught me how to drive, the man who introduced me to chocolate chip ice cream(my favorite), the man who cooked for me and my brothers when mom was sick or at work, the man who taught me how to walk due to a slight leg deformity that I was born with that made the other kids laugh and make fun of me, the man who used to sit on the floor with me and play racing cars, the man who paid my rent and bills when I lost my job years ago, the man who made me laugh and the man who gave me a ton of books on how to be a good writer when he heard I published my first novel. He loved train sets, model cars, and jazz. He knew how to design clothes, take great pictures and loved art. Those are the things that I will remember the most about my dad. Herbert Butler. A veteran of the U.S Army and the U.S Marine Corp.

I love you, dad. Thanks for everything. RIP…

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