I have read before the terms of agreement for this website. Here I am tonight watching a movie for two lesbian women who chose to have a sperm doner for their kids. The kids grew up in a home of lesbian mothers, still confused about their identity because of who their father is. And here I sit and wonder, many years after the fact, who is my father? Though many people will not agree or choose not to, I I have discovered who mine is. He may not be Titan. He may not be Brad Pitt. He is not the discovery of current science. He is not superman. He is Normal Man. He isn’t perfect. In fact. his faults overcome the good points about him to many. Most will never see his potential. They will never understand why I have tried so hard to find a fatherly potential in him. Though he never did take the place of my father like Paul Calcagno did, he is still biologically my father. In some unknown and some not so normal understandment, he has TRIED to be a father through telephone calls monthly. He has never stepped up completely to the roll of what being a dad is. I am one of many. Not just in my own unique household, but to others similar.
I grew up learning what a Dad is. It is someone who is there. Someone to support you. Someone constant. At the time, I did not understand what this meant. I didn’t know that my mother had permanently chose someone that would constantly be there. In my short childhood, there was no male father figure that remained con stent except for the Father, our Lord and Savior.
What has grown on me through many years is what exactly does a father mean. It isn’t sperm that is literally given during a child’s consummation. It is the act that follows. I may have spent many years wondering who my father is and what he has become after many years of no talk or no acknowledgement that he existed entirely. Actually, to be exact, my discovery of what a father was happened most likely years before I met my FATHER. I thought a father was someone that bore my seed. The person that planted me into my own being. But the truth is, there is more to this story.
When I was maybe sixteen, I began on a quest with my biological father. I began to talk to him and learn about him. I didn’t learn much, except what he had in mind for me, and his countless other children. He planted the seed, but didn’t continue more after that. The seed may have been his, but what did he pass on to that seed?
Most may not understand what I am talking about but I think that lineage has more to do with where you literally were raised and where that upbringing came than who actually made you exist. Crazy, I know. but this is a personal belief, and a strong one at that.
I remember a house in Dearborn. I remember my grandma. I remember spending many days together and learning her ways in the world. It was like I remember waking up one day and everything was different. My mother was different. My sister was different. I don’t think I understood what was changing. My mom had found new love. A man that accepted and loved her, despite what that past had drug along with it That man would and still forever changed my life. Paul.
The day my mother married my step father didn’t feel different than any other day. Except for celebration. I remember it almost clearly in my mind. I can tell you what I was wearing. I can describe the where exactly they were married. I can tell you who was there. This moment was BEYOND significant in my mind but I didn’t know why back then. I was too young. I can describe the wedding cake before my eyes. I can tell you about eating the cake, and vomitting the icecream up again in front of my NEW grandfather that same day..
I can tell you about my sister and I, and how we started out in bunk beds. I can tell you about my step brother and his bizarre fascination with reptiles. But the main point is Paul, my dad. Though he seemed like he was “just the man my mother was dating” at the time, he ended up being the most significant male role model in my life.
Some people in this world experience a perfect family. They get the mother and father that had kids together and remained married, maybe even forever. That is not the story of my life. My mother met someone. She fell in love. She had two children with him. He wasn’t her soul mate. It ended. That was it. That was house it was. But she met someone that would make her happy, and that was Paul.
My goal is not to tell everyone a love story. My message is not the story of how my mother met my step father. My story is about how I found myself. And I would not have found myself if not for Paul. I keep calling him that, but it still fee;s wrong on several levels. He is not Paul. That may be his given name but that is not who he is to me. He is not just the man my mother married, but he is the man my mother chose to be a father figure to her two young children. My mother could not have chosen a greater man for this long and at sometimes terrible journey. He is more than just the man my mother chose to marry. He is the man I chose to call “Dad”. That is something only a child could understand without knowing who or what their biological father is.
My story is not unique. Many children grow up know little about who their father is. For a long time I had questions about it. “Who is my father?” and “Why isn’t he here?” It became so apparent to me after knowing who my father was that I didn’t actually need a father, because my whole life I had a dad that loved me like no other and completely accepted who I was as a person. Today, I still can’t portray that amount of gratitude. How do you thank a man for stepping into that role and accepting it? How do you thank them for what they have done?
I still, as I write this, have tears streaming down my face. I have tears for wondering what kind of father my biological father could have been. Maybe my life would be different had he chose to play a role long before I was sixteen. But whether he did or didn’t, the only thing I mainly remember about my childhood being constant was Paul, or as I like to know, Dad. He was there. He was always there. Almost as long as I remember, Paul, Dad, was there. He was there during the biggest moments of my life. He supported me through darkness. He guided me through troubled time. He was THERE. He was constant. He never faded (even if at times I felt as though I wish he would have), he was always my dad.
Dad, if you are reading this, you are completely irreplaceable. You took a part of me as a small child that will never be replaced. I have tears streaming down my face I write this. Tears of joy. Tears of anguish. Why couldn’t I just be yours? I will never know why god chose this path for us, but he did and that is it. It is and will ever be that. We may never be biologically father and daughter but you WILL ALWAYS be my father, no matter. You stood up. You were a man. You were a dad. though you were never forced to be mine. You CHOSE to be my dad and I can never tell you enough how much that means to me. For a long time I didn’t see it. I didn’t understand it. But once I did, I knew that I loved you more than I ever did any one else because you were there for me when it wasn’t your job to do it.
Dad, you held me, when I wasn’t yours. You took my hand when I was hurting. You taught me about the world. You taught me about friendship. You taught me about friendship. You taught me what it means to be a daughter. You taught me what it means to be a mother to the children I will have in the future. You taught me about hope, and that cinderella stories are true. Dad, you taught me everything I know. I hope you are as proud of mea as I am of you.