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Fathers And Sons

June 22, 2020

Fathers Day was always a difficult holiday for me. I’ve had many fathers in my life. That was part of my problem with Fathers Day, I think.

My birth father and my mother split up when I was just a baby. Too young to even remember. We visited him on a regular basis, but the relationship was strained. I know he loved me in his way. When I was 16 I was adopted by my step father.

He was a reserved man, not given to displays of affection. But, he was a good father. I never heard him say he loved me, but I knew he did in his way. He was my father for about 30 years. He passed away on June 12, 2009. Hard to believe it’s been 11 years.

You might think having him pass away so close to Fathers Day would make it a bittersweet holiday. However, my relationship was such that Fathers Day became much easier to handle after he passed away. No more awkward phone calls, both obligatory and dreaded.

I’ve been a father for longer than I knew my dad. It’s strange to consider. He was always old, and yet I’m much older than he was when he married my mother.

As my signature block points out, I’m a father many times over. Some of my children are birth children. Others were adopted. The thought is not lost on me that my sons are the adopted sons of an adopted son.

In addition to sons by birth and adoption, I also have sons by marriage. My sons-in-law and daughters’ boy friends are as much a part of our family as if they had been born, or adopted into it.

They have given me beautiful grandchildren, boys and girls. I enjoy being a father, but being a grandfather is even better.

On Sunday, we had our first large family gathering since the COVID pandemic began. Ten of my children and four grandchildren made their way to my house to be celebrate Fathers Day. They gave me an eclectic set of gifts: a tape measure (really, it was one I had asked for,) a set of bandages that are useful to keep your knees from being sore when hiking (seriously, it was something I will use a lot,) and a six burner propane BBQ grill. (I said it was an eclectic group.)

I guess I’m the patriarch of my little clan. One of the pictures we took was me and my grandchildren. We missed the two that weren’t there. I’m not sure that I fit the image of the clan elder. But, then, my family has never been what you would call traditional.

Hopefully your Fathers Day was memorable and enjoyable.

It will always be an odd holiday for me.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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