Father's day... another year gone by. When I was in my thirties and forties, I could expect to be treated to the affections of my children and step-children. They would always honor me with a card or a gift, telling me what a great father I was. I tried. I, like most fathers of my generation, and generations past, did the best that I could. hoping that the choices that I made were the right ones. I, to this day, still do not know how well that I did.
I had five children to raise; three of my own, and two step-daughters that I did my best to raise as my own, even though they had a biological father. I went to every school function, every concert, everything that they were involved in. In fact, the only thing that I ever missed was a concert of my daughter, Danielle's. Even then, they had to make me stay home. I had had the flu, and was fighting temperature of 104. Other than that, I attended every one of their concerts and school functions. It never seems enough, to me. I wanted to do more. I worked every minute of overtime that I could to give them all a better life, when, looking back on it, it would have been better if I had not worked so much, and spent more time with them.
There is nothing I can do about it now. There are no 'Do overs' in fatherhood.. especially in step-fatherhood, because you are always being judged, and you never really measure up.
To my children and step children: I'm sorry. I should have done better than I did. I just did not know any better. If I could go back and change things, I most definitely would, but that is just not possible. All I can do is just give you a bit of advise, from a tired and sad old man: Do better by your children than I did by you. I am proud of you all. You have come a long way in life. Continue to be the best parents that you can be. If I failed you, I am sorry. I am not asking your forgiveness, just your understanding.
To all of my friends who are fathers: Happy Father's Day. I hope that the day is wonderful for you and your family. Enjoy; you deserve it after all the hard work that you have done.
Finally, to my father: Dad, I miss you. It has been 32 years since you left us so abruptly. You never got a chance to enjoy your life, or your grandchildren. I still grieve for you to this day. I wish that we had a better understanding of each other, but fate did not allow it. Just know that I love you to this day with all of my heart, and I know that, in your own way, you loved me, too. Happy Father's Day, Everyone.