“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Jim Valvano
Several years ago I posted a Tribute to Fathers in honor of my father and all the men in my life who have made it a richer more perfect life for me. Since then a few of the facts have changed and updated so I am again sharing it with you. You will see why Father’s Day means so much to me and perhaps many of you can resonate with my story. For me, this is truly what fatherhood is all about.
In 1993 my mother died and I was in a sense left an orphan. You see I had never met my birth father and was not sure I wanted to. My mother had been married four times and none of these men were exactly the epitomy of good fathers.
However, in 1999 I was on a spiritual journey to “find myself” and decided to look for him. I picked up the phone and contacted Lee, a local private investigator who was a member of one of the Chambers of Commerce to which I belong. The only information I had about my father was his name, date and place of birth and that he lived in NYC in the 50’s. In less than an hour Lee called me back with his address and phone number. WOW! I was not ready for that… I mean, it was so quick. Part of me thought it would take weeks or even months to find him and still a small part of me thought I’d never find him. But an hour later? I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or sing out loud. But that’s only the beginning of the story.
It took me 3 years (and a couple of glasses of wine with my dear friend Linda Stein) to finally get up the nerve to contact him. She helped me write the letter I eventually sent to him – a few months later. I sent the letter in a birthday card and said I would just like to introduce myself. Deep down I didn’t really think he’d write back or even acknowledge my existence. I was wrong. He wrote back to say how brave I was to have written. He also said he was glad I contacted him because he had no other children. Another WOW!
That’s only the beginning of our story.
A year after writing the letter we made plans to meet. Actually Timmy, my husband made the plans. He saw we were dragging our heels to have a face-to-face and my husband (boyfriend at the time) in his infinite wisdom said it was time. So he planned this incredible trip to New York City and I told my father we would be there on a certain date. So Jim (now my Dad), made reservations to meet him at a quaint little French restaurant in Greenwich Village. Did I mention I love FRENCH food? The moment our eyes met I knew he was my dad and all would be right in my world. I had found my father! He has turned out to be an incredible person. We have a wonderful relationship and he even gave me away at my wedding in November 2005.
Every day I am grateful that I didn’t wait to long to contact him – we had already missed so much and the very thought that he could have passed away before I had the opportunity to at least meet him makes me realize just how “lucky” I am to have done so just at that moment. Thank you Papa Jimmy’ for being my father. I love you very much! Happy Father’s Day!
In addition to my incredible DAD, I have an equally wonderful husband. We have been together for almost 20 years
and in 2005 we finally married. It is the best decision I ever made! It was a beautiful wedding to the most beautiful, romantic, caring, compassionate and smart man I know. Timmy is not only my best friend, he is the perfect step father to my children. They love him very much. And so do I. Happy Timmy Day, my love!
The third man in my life to pay tribute to is my son-in-law Henry, the father of my three absolutely beautiful grandchildren (2 redheads and a blonde). He is the son I never had! He is an amazing father, husband and loving son in law – his quirky sense of humor makes him the perfect fit for our family! And he’s a redhead too! Happy Father’s Day, Son!
The fourth man in my life to pay tribute to is Bill Mooney, my father in law. If there were a store to “order” the perfect father in law, I would have chosen Bill. He is kind, compassionate, has a great IRISH sense of humor and he’s even smarter than his son! I just love to be around him. Like father, like son. Thank you for welcoming me to the family. Happy Father’s Day Bill!
And finally I’d just like to say how lucky I am to not only have these men in my life, I also have a very special (former) father in law. Even though his son and I got divorced, Fred is still very much a part of our lives. He celebrates all ocassions with us and has been a very supportive part of my life through many trials and tribulations as well as triumphs. Happy Father’s Day Dad!
Thank you to all the men in all our lives, be they fathers, sons, brothers, friends – Happy Father’s Day!
“Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young,Who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, And joined in thy innocent glee.” Margaret Courtney
Wishing you a wonderful Father’s Day… and then some!