December 25, 2008

Another tribute--My Two Dads

My apologies...
Okay, I missed writing yesterday. Please forgive me. I was a little busy getting ready for some holiday celebrating the birth of a baby who would grow up to die ignomiously on a cross after spending three years teaching with authority and doing miracle after miracle after miracle which all testified to the fact that he was, indeed the Son of God. The really good news, which I will talk about at another time, is that he didn't stay dead. It wasn't that he was "mostly dead" and was revived by Miracle Max to live happily ever after with Mary Magdelene. He was really truly, all dead. But that story will have to wait.

Moving on...
In the late 1980's, there was a TV sitcom series that ran for three years called "My Two Dads" starring a future has-been, Greg Evigan, formerly of "BJ and the Bear" fame and a future star, Paul Reisner, who would become the leading man in the sitcom "Mad About You." The basic plot is that a mother of a tween dies and leaves her in the custody of two men, either of which, could have been the father (because, apparently, paternity tests weren't available until sometime in the 1990's?). So this girl moves in with two total strangers, who haven't shown enough maturity at this point to take care of pets or maintain a long term relationship. Sounds funny doesn't it? (written with extreme sarcasm). This is NOT my story. My mom has been married twice. I was the product of her first marriage, which ended in divorce when I was still a baby. She re-married when I was four.

My first dad, Dennis, was a remarkable guy, though I really didn't know he existed until I was nine (my oldest daughter's age). How I found out about him is a funny story that will have to wait. My mom moved 1800 miles away from him when she initiated the divorce, which meant that he couldn't really visit me very often, if at all. He has admitted to me many times that he was in a very messed up state, even before the divorce, and he only got worse. And yet, in spite of his brokenness, he was able to do a very generous, self-sacrificing act of chivalry: he gave up his rights as my father so that I could be raised by one man, without divided loyalties wreaking havoc on my emotional stability. That single act of sacrifice has had a huge contribution to the person I am today.

My second dad, Bill, married my mom after a whirlwind courtship. However, he chose to adopt me as his own daughter. He didn't have to adopt me, but he did. And he was able to adopt me because my birth father. The court date to finalize my adoption happened on my fifth birthday. He is the one whom I have called "daddy" or "dad" ever since. Because he raised me, of course, he has had a tremendous influence in my life. You experience his influence every time you read phrases from me such as "die ignomiously". He always told me that using big words properly was a mark of intelligence. Unfortunately, these days, it might make me more unintelligible (hard to understand). He also has high standards of workmanship which translated into high expectations in any task I was assigned, whether it was schoolwork, housework or any project.

Dennis and Bill, thank you for your influence! Merry Christmas with much love,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great tribute - thank you so much. Nice tribute to my Mom as well. She's the most generous person I have ever known.

Your Mom and Bill have been wonderful for you. My decision was based upon several realities that came about as a result of my being torn down and reassembled in bootcamp during Viet Nam.
A. I knew your Mom was right in fleeing from me.
B. Because I was so lost there was no way I could be a deserving husband or father.
C. I had burned so many bridges I knew I'd take a long time to find my way back.
You don't know how good I felt when feedback through the years from all sides told me Bill was a wonderful man and a good husband and father.
Remember that part of my decision was based upon my experiences of being sent to my father when I didn't want to go. I didn't want you to feel any of the things I felt during those years of my youth.

....and you turned out so good!!!

Love you, hugs and kisses to all.
Grampa D