For my dad…and all dads


Fathers sometime receive a bad wrap. And many of them deserve the wrap they get. However, many are truly trying the best they can to be good dads. I was fortunate enough to grow up with my dad, and he did have his share of issues. But who on this earth is perfect? I have no doubt that my dad loved me and I loved him. This reciprocal love is more than some people receive from their fathers in a lifetime.

If you’re close to me you know the story. My dad was an alcoholic. Let me rephrase, he suffered from the disease of alcoholism. When I look at it that way, it may not have been something he could completely control.

Although my father was never physically abusive with me, there was a fair share of arguments and dysfunction that occurred in our home. Many of my “adult issues” I attribute to being an adult child of an alcoholic (it’s easier than taking responsibility for my own actions). But for this upcoming Fathers day, I chose to reflect on a few great memories of my dad:

* My dad worked faithfully at the Post Office for over 20 years to ensure that his family was financially provided for
* My dad and I loved to go to White Sox games at the original Comiskey Park. That was “our thing”, and it’s why my favorite sport is baseball to this day
* When I was in junior high, my dad and I watched the stars and he helped me find the constellation Orion for a science class
* He usually was on my side in arguments with mom 🙂
* From what my sister told me he was a great step-dad, and moreover, he eventually took in and agreed to adopt my nieces
* I always felt beautiful and perfect in his eyes
* I knew that a hug from him could help me get over any failed relationship with a man
* He was always there to drive me to and from college until literally his foot fell off
* One time I had burned my forehead with a curling iron, when he saw the scar, he demanded to know “who hit me” and threatened to take care of it! (and he was an amputee at the time)
* The funny interactions he had with mom (they could have had a sitcom, especially in the later years)
* After recently receiving and learning to walk on his prosthesis, he proudly walked into my college graduation ceremony; noticeably in pain, but determined to walk in
* He always loved and encouraged me to play my flute

Dads are not perfect, they are just our dads. I do miss him. We didn’t talk much in his last days, but I always knew he was there. He lives in the hearts of his children (me, Jessica, and Little Michelle), and through my mom’s hilarious tales about their courtship and marriage. I salute all dads who are present in their children’s lives. You are an important part of the people we eventually become.

Dedicated to the memory of Clarence Warren Whitney


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