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What was your father like?

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Today is Father’s Day. My father has been gone since 1965, but I still remember him fondly as a jokester, a benevolent man, and the orchestrator of fun times.

In our family, there were six children including two sets of twins. Because times were lean, my mother was the one who had to shoulder the responsibility of the family. My dad was the fun guy, taking us out for ice cream, playing with squirt guns, and occasionally not enforcing my mom’s strict rules of taking us to church every Sunday.

I was only 12 when my father passed away, and since my parents had been divorced since I was six, I didn’t know him very well. I have heard stories of my friend’s fathers that were unsettling. Stories about alcoholism and abuse permeated their tales, and I was thankful on some level that my father wasn’t around. None of us had to shoulder any abuse from him.

To this day, I wonder how my life might have been different, if I had had my father around. My older sister was daddy’s little girl, and I’m sure the memories of that relationship are still vivid to her today. He would dote on her, spoiled her, and on some level, I’m sure my dad was completely idolized by my older sister. His disappearance must have been a real shock to her.

But life isn’t easy. Many men are expected to make a lot of money, come up with all the answers, and suck it in when it comes to difficult times. No wonder they die so young. I am glad that those roles are not as strictly enforced as they used to be. Many men are now househusbands, or the ones behind the scenes helping the family run smoothly. It seems like a much healthier way to live.

Regardless of the type of father that you had, I hope this day is a joyous one for you. I miss my father terribly, but I know someday we will be reunited, and we can play with squirt guns and eat ice cream once again.

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