I don’t have a father. And by that I mean, yes, the line on my birth certificate is intentionally blank; was never worth a child support check; didn’t meet the man until I was grown, don’t have a father. Never have, never will. So I always honor a few people on Father’s Day.
1. My mother, the champion and epitome of single mothers, who did it all.
2. My Uncle Chunky, who lost both his children at birth and never seemed to be bitter over the fact that I was the replacement he believed God gave him. I miss him every day of my life.
3. My Pop, my granddaddy, the toughest and most patriotic man I’ve ever known. I can still remember the way he laughed at me, would look at my Uncle, and just shake his head and chuckle, “Chunky!” over how much it confused him that his cute little “Squirt” was so scrappy. Like the time in high school I gave him a lecture over it being mean to raise cows, and told him I thought I was giving up meat. He said, “If we weren’t supposed to eat them, what did the good Lord give us cows for?” I said, “Uh, milk!” He shook his head laughing at me for 5 minutes. I can’t wait to see those overalls again.
4. My stepfather, Nick, who is currently in ICU and I so appreciate your prayers. He taught me how to be insanely charitable and, as a Cleveland-born, Italian Catholic who mirrors The Sopranos, how to use the F word with conviction. He never stops giving — even when it almost kills him.
5. Larry Patton, who parented any kid in Burns that showed up at the Patton Pool Hall and taught us all the importance of PBR and VFL. (And like my Uncle
Chunky — Boo! on that Braves loving Pop — yelled for my Redbirds!)
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers; single mothers getting the job done; Aunts, Uncles, grandparents who play all roles themselves; Dads who parent any kid that shows up at your door; and to our brave men in uniform defending our freedom.
A beautiful day to you all.