Fathers. I’ve had some, I’ve had none.

Father’s day is something I have actively avoided for many years. I try to escape the day and block it out of my mind while everyone else celebrates. I didn’t recognize it as a positive day, but lately my opinions have changed and I am about to really celebrate Father’s Day for the first time in many many years.

If you have read any of my life story, you will know that I haven’t had the best experience with men and father figures in my life. If you haven’t read that series yet, I highly suggest that you do. It will make what I am about to write so much more meaningful.

The men I am about to write about are my main male role models. They are the men that played very different roles in my life at different times. I love them all and strive to emulate them as much as possible.

To a boy who needed a father, these men were there.

Heath

This man brought me out of my protective bubble when I was 13 years old after experiencing a childhood of hurt that still wasn’t quite over. He began the uphill curve on my life by doing one simple thing.

He spoke to me.

He got me talking, he learned who I am and got me to begin enjoying life. I owe all the friends I have to this man taking the time to show me what friendship and love truly is.
I am bold, I am free, and I am who I am. I am confident, outgoing, and what you see is what you get. I am the same person no matter who I am interacting with.
Heath also taught me to never be bland. I want to be the spice of everyone’s life.

This man is my personal hero, and I thank God for bringing him into my life quite often.

Gord

This man is my best friend’s father. He showed me what a loving home is like as they brought me in for many family dinners over many years. I see his strong work ethic and desire for his children to do well and work hard. He makes me want to keep pushing to do my best, while knowing that it’s not the end of the world if I fail.

I appreciate the loving environment of their home. I’ve been around their family enough to have seen him upset, and even then, I can feel the love within him. I want him to know just how much he means to me. He has made an impact on how I view family, especially when I grew up mostly without one. I want my home to be like his some day, and I know that if I keep working as hard as he does, I’ll get there.

Al

This one is unique. He is technically my bosses husband, although he feels like so much more. I don’t get to see him often, but I really appreciate the interactions that I get to have with him. I witness his love for his wife constantly, because he phones her at work every single day at the same time. Sometimes they work different shifts and don’t see each other much, so he takes the time to call and chat for a few minutes in the middle of her day. It cheers her up immensely, and when the day is stressful, it’s a noticeable difference.

I love that he cares for people in his job at the hospital, and that he tries to be as positive as I do. We are pretty similar in many ways, and I have considered him a role model for marriage for many years. Considering I didn’t have that in my parent’s lives, I value it immensely. I always cheer up when I get to talk to him for a few seconds before passing the phone over, and I look forward to giving him a hug whenever I see him.

Keith

The classic strong, silent type.

This man makes me happy on a daily basis. I see him constantly working hard, making camp a better and safer place to be. He gives of his body and soul day in and day out. He’s often covered in dirt and grease, but he always manages to look stunningly handsome with the most perfect facial hair that I have ever seen, and sincerely long for constantly.

He loves, and loves hard. He keeps his feelings to himself, but I can always see his emotions. I recognize them from a time when I kept everything to myself and just quietly observed the people around me. I look up to him, particularly for his strength. Just being around him gives me hope and excitement that I am strong enough to do anything. He inspires me regularly, and I need him to know that his strength really helped me get through the death of my mom. There are very few hugs that I remember in my life, but the hug that he gave me just a day before my mom died will stick with me forever.

This man is more of a father to me than I can ever express.

Rob

My most recent father. He is the wonderful father of my wife and her brother. He was instrumental in building her up to be the absolutely amazing woman that she is, and he will always be a role model to me for how to raise a child. I am grateful for how he has welcomed me into their home and family. I love that I get to see him regularly and have a constant, close father in my life. I love his wisdom, his analytical mind and I look forward to coming to him with all kinds of questions and problems. It fills me with joy to know that I finally have someone I can go to for advice and trust wholeheartedly.

His love makes me cry. It makes me remember the times when I had nobody to call my dad, and when I thought I did, my heart was broken yet again. He knows this, but I won’t ever stop feeling this way, and I know that it will always be the most important reason that I love him. Simply put, I love him because he loves me. That’s one of the most valuable things that I could have ever asked for in my entire life.

I admire his love for his family, and that he places his value on relationships, love, and quality time. That’s something that I value over most anything else as well. I want to be the kind of father that he was and is to my wife. I want to learn and grow from him as much as she has, and I look forward to having him be my dad for the rest of my life.

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