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For My Father This Father's Day

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Every day I find myself continuing to evolve as a human being (less in the physical sense, more in the mental and social sense). I'm asking questions and testing boundaries and looking for ways to make that leap that must be taken now that I've graduated from college and can theoretically chart a course to anywhere I would like to go.

Sometimes life can get a little intense. I go, go, go and go and pile on, pile on, pile on and pile more on because the world is such a vast and sometimes scary but fascinating place. I want to take it on and do everything; despite the indications that this world is collectively in trouble, I entertain this idea that individuals can contribute to turning this oil tanker around before it runs aground, explodes and kills us all. And, I think I really have you to thank for that.

Each time we eat a meal together, each time you pick me up from the airport to go home, and each time you talk to me over the phone, I usually share with you what I think I am doing in my life and where I think I am going. You are always listening, I assume. What I usually have to say is all said to mask the reality that I do not really know (but nobody does, do they?). I talk while at the same time worrying about the inevitable friction that lie ahead, the imminent struggle that I will face for wanting a job (and if I am lucky, a career) in something that taps into my creative passion.

When we talk about life's latest developments, you usually give off this aura of positivity and confidence in me that leads me to believe I just might succeed. I get this sense in spite of the fact that there's so much reason to be uncertain in this country. Surely, as a small business owner, you understand that. Each day there's a potential that you find out your business is not a big enough fish in the sea. But, as a leader, you have to make that possible reality never become real; you have to form relationships with other businesses, build working partnerships, hire workers to advance your small business, and your business has to ultimately survive because not only do you depend on it but others who work and have relationships with you are depending on you as well to be there tomorrow, the next day and the day after that and so on and so forth.

You remarried and have a daughter, which means there's another person now who calls you father (actually, right now it's probably closer to "dad-da" or "daddy"). As you helped mom to raise me, you are helping the woman you married to raise your daughter and you will do as good a job instilling confidence in her as you did me. She may present a new set of challenges because she is not going to grow up as a boy, but that's not going to get in the way of you being the same kind of father you were to me when I grew up.

I didn't want you to remarry. A boy who wants his father to be there has no concern for love. He just assumes that his mother and father will be united together forever because they had you. He doesn't understand that misunderstandings and shifty things can take place that make it hard for one to look someone they used to love in the eye anymore.

Now, I see the reality of relationships, the way they can become fragile instantaneously. I don't really know what happened, but I thank you for being what I believe was reasonable when I was going through high school and didn't want to fully admit I now had separated parents.

I thank you for instilling confidence in me. I thank you for being there to support me from the day I was born to now. And, I appreciate the way that you have always tried to communicate the need for me to be flexible and patient. I'm a person who would rather make things happen than wait for them to take place, but your patience reminds me to not give up and go ahead and wait if I do not get the results I want on the first try.

You can't pick your father anymore than you can pick your mother. So, I won't say some Hallmark bullshit like there isn't another father in this world I would want to have. There are some really bad fathers in the world. They commit crazy acts. They hurt the women they claim to love. They abuse their children. Or, worse, some of them end up taking lives because they believe that they have to do it to get by or if they can't make it anymore they just kill their family and then they and their wife and kids are dead.

That's a pretty morbid thought to end on. I suppose I write that to just remind you that anything that may take place because of something that happens like a financial crisis or a mental/physical problem is not worth letting destroy anyone's life. The pain can be turned into something that leads you to take on what makes you feel disgusted and angry. You understand that very well. And, between you and me, we can hope to never have those issues while at the same time preparing for the fact that a good number of fathers will always be faced with decisions that test their abilities to survive and help maintain a family.

We won't share this Father's Day in the same location. But, you will read this and, for a moment, connect. The thoughts I had of the father that has helped shape me into the person I am today will allow you to take pride in what you've done for me.

And, that's what I want to give to you this Father's Day: the satisfaction of knowing that you helped me get to where I am.

Happy Father's Day.

 

Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 

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As a father who has a son himself I was very moved... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 2:30:55 PM