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I was raised by 4 different Fathers...

On the heels of Father’s Day I write this blog. I was raised by 4 different fathers and I hope every single person gets the privilege of my experience. This blog will be about the first one…

Now before those who know me personally cry out, “Liar…” let me explain. I have had the privilege and honor of different Father’s throughout my life. I have gotten to learn something unique from each of them thus reinforcing the theory that my mother calls the ‘mosaic theory’. Simply meaning that all people carry multifaceted treasures in their hearts represented by different colored stones. When you get around those people, you get to pick up a treasured stone out of their heart and carry it with you as long as you so choose. That stone then becomes a part of you to be shared with others as they come to know you. The first Father in my timeline, is the one who brought me into this world naturally.

After 49 years of marriage to my mother, my parents still go for walks, holding hands. (OK, she walks faster and has to drag him sometimes LOL…) I still to this day call him “Daddy” and the relationship we have now, has been years in the making. In adulthood this relationship is sweet and caring, filled with a lot of laughter and profound counsel. There is sincere love. There is friendship. There is love that is full of understanding. It is a space in my heart no one else gets to fill.

He has always been a sacrificial provider. I cannot tell you how many times I heard him say over my lifetime, “Money means nothing to me. It is merely a way to get things done, a tool.” We had what we needed growing up. There wasn’t much fluff or excess but we did get to go on family vacations every year, as family was important to him. The mosaic stone I gleaned from him the most was the quality of spontaneous generosity that has marked him his whole entire life. He would literally give the man on the road the very pair of shoes he was wearing or the shirt off his back or empty out an account to buy me a ticket to where I needed to go. (He still does this by the way.) Lavish giver like NO OTHER HUMAN I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED. He taught me money is merely a tool, it’s not an identity. It might get you places, but won’t keep you there. Character does that.

He also taught me if you are going to put your heart to something, do it with ‘all you’ve got!’ That perseverance, hard work and focus pays off. I can remember walking in on him many times, in the middle of the night as a kid as he was studying for another degree or diploma. Eyes tired, small light and desk covered in papers. When he set his mind to something, that was it, it was done. He taught me about the importance of having a heart that is hungry. Drive. Grit. Don’t do things half way. If you are going to do something, do it all the way!

When it came to my mom, there was always only one. Faithfulness. Growing up in a home where never once and I mean AT ALL, did I think that my mother or father would ever be unfaithful to each other/get divorced, was such a gift. We just didn’t ever have to think about it. In this day and age, I never realized what a gift that truly was. Both have very strong personalities and so you can imagine they had their moments of feistiness! When my own marriage hit some tricky crevices on the road, (as all marriages do) there has NEVER been an option to abandon, or bail. Hold to account, yes. Reminding of who we said we would be for the other, yes. Growth, absolutely. But never abandonment. This was deeply entrenched into the heart of my father and he deeply seeded it into this heart of mine.

So, if generosity, grit and faithfulness are my “Daddy’s” mosaic’s stones, I will gladly carry them to the ends of the earth and have any beautiful human partake of them through my life.

Happy Father’s Day to all the “Daddy’s” out there. You are building a legacy that will outlast your life. Your choices you make today, will shape the hearts and minds of those you lead forever and will in turn, outlive their lives too.

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