A Perfect Dad

 June 19, 2011

Fathers Day.

It wasn’t always a celebration in my house.

In fact for much of my life it was at best just another Sunday.

Because I did not have a father.

At least not that I can remember.

Four months before I turned four years old my father died, killed himself to be more precise; a single gunshot to the abdomen according to the death certificate.

It was the 70’s and frankly my family wasn’t the most functional to begin with so no one talked about “it” or him at all.  Ever.

Instead I spent many years imagining what he might have been like; what it would be like to have a “daddy”.  While most other girls dreamed about the prince who would marry them one day, I fantasied about (and prayed for) a father who would walk me down the aisle.

In my school girl imagination my father would be the perfect combination of strong and sweet. He would do all the “usual” things a perfect dad would do like kiss me on the forehead and swoop me up in his arms to dance me around the room. He would toss me high in the air and catch me in his big arms. He would build me a swing, tighten the handlebars on my bike, give me rides on his shoulders, help with my math homework, teach me to drive, turn the porch light on in the middle of my first kiss.

And he would be my first love, tell me I was beautiful, be the man I compared every man to evermore.

He would be perfect.

(Honestly it’s a wonder I’m not (more) dysfunctional than I am.)

My only sense of a father was the one I conjured up in my child like imagination.  A little girl's fantasy.  An mythical creature of impeccable, impossible,  paternal perfection.

But don’t feel pity because here’s the point of my sharing this with you.

20 years later I met and married and built a life with a man who, as fate would have it, turned out to be the perfect daddy to our children.

And he healed me.

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