Seeing Father’s Day Through A Different Lens
With Father’s Day a week out, many are beginning to feel the reverberant waves of emotion, the highs and perhaps the lows, that accompany this uniquely American ritual of remembrance and reverence, reserved for that person(s) in their lives called Dad. For many, the designation of “Dad” is pretty straight forward, at least in the traditional sense…it’s your Father, the human male half of the equation that brought you here.
But the traditional definition of “Dad” doesn’t quite work for everyone. For instance, some grew up without their paternal father in the picture, or, in an estranged relationship with the “father” in their lives. For some, it was Mom who pulled dual-duty and became the source of strength, courage and guidance during the formative years.That pretty much sums up my story.
My Dad left us when I was 5 and by the age of 8.
As a freshly minted Cuban refugee coming to America with my Mom and my Sister, I was on a fulltime hunt for a father…anyone that could provide that sense of completing our family. And for me personally, someone I could call Dad, just like all the other kids on my block. With the naiveté of a young child desperate to have a Dad, I went as far as introducing one of my schoolteachers to my Mom in hopes of creating a match! None of that panned out…Mom had her hands full, working two jobs and little time or interest in bringing a man into our tight little family unit. As the years passed, and I was able to fill in the father gap with a couple of kind and charitable men, both outdoorsmen, and each married without children of their own. They took me hunting, trapping, fishing and taught me a lot about wilderness and wildlife. Looking back, it was a perfect match of convenience that served all of us well.