An Open Letter to Dad
Today is another special day. Today we celebrate our “Father's” on Father's Day. Much like the reason we put quotation around Mother's for Mother's Day, we want to acknowledge and celebrate those figures that are fathers, but may not necessarily be your biological father. To those that pay respect to their Father's and to those that pay respect to the people in their life that they consider their dad. Whether that be an older brother, an Uncle, a grandfather, a coach, a single father, whomever. It is important to recognize the men in your life, if not your biological father, that have helped you get to where you are today.
In today's society, we often recognize all the single mom's out there. We cannot forget about the single dad's out there. You have done something more amazing than anyone can imagine, raising 1, 2, and even multiple children, on your own. You don't get the luxury of a break. You literally play both roles, hoping that someone will come along and help. Although they may not realize just how much you do for them until later, just know that you are appreciated. As much praise as we give to single moms, just as much should go to single dads. I mean, have you seen most dads try to do their daughter's hair the first few times? Not always the best, but they are trying and that's what matters the most. The sacrifices are there and are noticed.
For those that don't have a father, because they never really played a role in your life, or they passed away young, it doesn't have to be them. If your grandpa stepped in and was that figure, thank him. If your biggest figure was a coach, which you will often see today with sports and underprivileged areas, show them some love. For they are the people that give your that "male presence" in your life, while teaching you life lessons. And it's all hidden in the messages of sports.
Although this may be commercialized by today's standards, it definitely doesn't get as much praise as Mother's Day. It should. We hope that you do one thing today; spend time with the person you call Dad. If you can't spend time with them, give them a call. Remember, it isn't always going to be your biological dad that you are calling. Show him the appreciation he deserves for being that figure in your life. Never take your father or figure for granted, as life is short. Call now and we can promise that you won't regret it. Whomever it is, they work damn hard to provide you with the opportunities in life to succeed. It could be giving you a roof over your head or providing a letter of recommendation for your next endeavor. Whatever it is, show them the appreciation they deserve.
Happy Father's Day,
Our Stories, Your Legacy
Open Letters from the Authors:
I'm going to start this off by saying Happy Father's Day to my grandfather. He instilled a lot of qualities that I have in my today. I know that you are looking down on me and I appreciate everything you've done for me. Miss you everyday.
To all my coaches I had growing up, thank you. You kept me going and instilled that determination factor. It keeps me going. Aside from that, everything you taught me off the field, I truly appreciate. The game is just a game. There's more to life outside the game.
As this day approaches every year, I have more respect for what my dad put up with us growing up. He did a lot of work to keep us kids happy. The man who has literally been by my side for all the decisions and things that I've done to this point. He's taught me how to play video games, sports, morals, etc. The support is always there. Definitely the biggest supporter in my life and always have been. I may not always be perfect, but you know I'm trying, and that's what matters.
The biggest thing I can thank you for is the support. When I was growing up, you would always be there when I needed a chaperone for a field trip. You were the "cool" dad. You came to my chess tournaments and cheered me on (as much as you can in chess anyways). You watched all my games from 1st grade until I graduated high school There for the support. I may not have always played well, but you always said, "you'll get them next time". Even now. I've picked up the crazy sport of running. I've run 71 half marathons and 7 marathons to this point and you've been at a good number of them, cheering me on. You've traveled with me other states to see me run and drive me around when my legs don't work. The best way I can think to treat you out is a baseball game, which I know you would love. With all that said, just wanted to say, Happy Father's Day. Love you, Dad.
I was raised by a single mother my entire life. My father was never present in the household while growing up so there's not much for me to say about him. However, my mom and older brother raised me while filling in the shoes of my absent father; they served as father figures who helped shape me into who I am today. Even over the course of time, I would encounter and be mentored by other father-figures alike.
My mom and brother had to work multiple jobs which was barely enough to support the family. For every day they were away at work, I was either left at school or with a babysitter. A lot was sacrificed just to ensure my safety and security. Not having a father present was difficult but I learned it's like learning how to ride a bike without training wheels: you may not have the extra support that you want but you'll learn how to keep yourself up and balanced over time.
I've always wondered how different my life would've been if I had an actual father raising me. Would it be better? Would it be worse? What kind of kid would I grow up to be? More aggressive? More rebellious? It doesn't matter at this point. I've learned to accept and be thankful of any circumstances or situations bestowed upon my life whether if they're good or bad. Adversity is what helped make me who I am currently, and I'm proud of it.
With the absence of my father, I've grown to appreciate the importance of family and what it means to be a parent - a single parent especially. To this day, I am still living with my single mother. We continue to struggle at the absence of a father, however, the way my mom raised me helped me grow into a stronger version of myself where I am now capable of supporting her in return for everything she has done. She set an example of what it means to struggle in life and how to grow stronger from it and how being a single parent can be rewarding.
Raising a family is a team effort, and even with the loss or absence of a parent, that sets new obstacles and challenges that are substantial to the growth of every individual within the family and the entire family itself. With no challenges there's no pain. With no pain, there's no growth. We must struggle in order to grow stronger. We'll then later realize how thankful we are for adversity.
Happy Father's Day to fathers and father figures everywhere.
There's a difference between being a father and being a dad. Though they may share the same context the meanings may differ when asked to another person. A dad doesn't have to be your father. Personally, I've had multiple father figures, different men who were able to raise me into the man I am now. I model a lot of what I do based on what I've seen growing up. You see, a father teaches their son more than just manners and discipline, it goes farther to mannerism. The son picks up on the habits of their dad and they will follow grow to become like their dad. Thank you to all the dads out there, sticking by their child's side, being there, supporting them, and watching them grow. It may not mean a lot at the time but it means the world to your child.