Father's Day 2015 came this year like all others before it, but I didn't really acknowledge it. Our girls were here for the morning and we met them for breakfast, then our son took my husband to dinner later that day, so my husband certainly felt honored and for that I am grateful. I, however, spent the day having conversations with people like me, fatherless.
Fatherless, not in the pitiful sense, just reality.
Let me share my story because when I hear it, I think it sounds like a movie! Maybe you will too :)
When my mother found herself pregnant with me, my father had already decided to leave. He did know she was pregnant, but had reasons to doubt that I was his. She married someone else before I was born so my birth certificate had this man's name and not my real father's. And, this man left before I was born.
During my mother's pregnancy she was overwhelmed to say the least. I was to be her 7th child and in less than 9 months her 6th and 7th husband came and went. She found herself with 6 kids, another on the way, no husband, so, overwhelmed was likely an understatement.
While she was pregnant she became close friends with her neighbors, Freida and Arnold. Freida and Arnold were truly amazing people that had 2 adopted sons because Freida was unable to bear children. The 3 of them decided that once I was born Freida and Arnold would unofficially adopt me. As the months continued this decision felt more and more right.
On December 31st, 1959 at 10 minutes to midnight, I decided to make my debut. From the sounds of it, everyone was pretty excited. Especially Freida and Arnold.
At the hospital, my mother's mother said enough to change my mother's mind about giving me to Freida and Arnold and sent my oldest sister to let them know that they would not be having a daughter this night. When they told me this part of the story, they could not hold back their tears. They were devastated and felt like their newborn baby died.
So, I went home with my mother and met my 6 siblings. It only took my mother a day to realize what a huge mistake keeping me was. Her fears throughout the pregnancy about her inability to raise one more child were quickly made clear. Guess what she did? She walked me next door and presented me to Freida and Arnold as their new daughter. They described this day like "Christmas"!
However, she told my 6 siblings that I had died.
Picture the scene if you can. 2 houses side by side. 1 celebrating a baby girl that appeared like a miracle. The other house, right next door, mourning the loss of a beautiful new life. Me, that new life, kinda caught in between.
Of course I have no memories of this time and these events, but we know that those first few sacred hours of life are so precious and important. So important, I believe, that this start to life impacted me profoundly. I did not learn of any of this until I was a young teen, but at the age of 7, I started having a reoccurring dream that suggests that this specific start to life left an innate sense of abandonment and/or confusion at the least. At age 7, almost nightly I dreamed that my mom (Freida) and I were on a walk and I needed to sit on the curb to tie my shoe. As I tied my shoe, my mom kept walking and I couldn't get up. I would awake from this dream in a panic and run to my mom's bed crying.
I know, I know, this is supposed to be a late Father's Day message. I'm getting there, hang in there with me.
Lots of people I know don't have fathers. My daughters are actually two of those very people. Their father died when they were young teens. My husband's father died a few years ago. My close friend (who is a wonderful person) has a father that chooses to have no contact with her. Another young lady I know has a dad that obviously favors her sister. And I feel like I had 3 fathers that influenced my life. My biological father left, my step father left before I was born, my adopted father (Arnold) died several years ago, and my biological father died shortly thereafter.
My story continues and gets even more "movie like". I actually ended up meeting my biological father and our resemblance is remarkable. but my point thus far is simply that Father's Day is different for people for so many reasons.
There were lots of alternative Father's Day messages shared this year and I just wanted to share a part of mine. I think if I didn't have the assurance of the never-ending love from my Heavenly Father, I would be a mess today. My start was compromised, my life has been challenging, but my end is secure. A Father's love is crucial. A father's love, faithfulness, and support is supposed to paint a picture of God's love for us. We can survive lots of disappointments in life if we have the assurance of God's unconditional and unending love.
The folks I know that are fatherless, certainly know this. It is the reason Father's Day is still a wonderful day for all of us.
Happy Father's Day (2 days late) to all of us!!
Everyone deserves "the Good Inside," and, yes, "Purity is Possible."