Credit Where Credit is Due


My Dad with Little Sir.

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday and I was happy to post about my Dad and some steps towards healing in our relationship.

Something that has been asked of me repeatedly when people (or therapists) know much of my background is, “How did you make it?”

Well, first, we need to define “make it”. I am a reasonably functioning person, but it’s not like I got out unscathed. And when I want to move along the conversation, I answer, “God, Oprah, and therapy.”

And that answer is true, but part of what God did is put people in my path that helped carry the load. That were there when others couldn’t/wouldn’t. Men who let me know there was a different way. Let me know I mattered. Who cared with no agenda.

And God also gave me the spirit to recognize those people and their contributions.

Grandpa Smith

Grandpa Smith

There was my Grandpa Smith who took me fishing, swimming, camping. Truck driving, fishing and more fishing. He’s the one that let me use all his tools in the garage and I think is one reason I feel mostly competent to do things I want to do. When I think, why do I think I can do this? I usually have a memory of my Grandpa telling me I could or should. Little Sir is named after this man.

Grandpa Leo who took me to the gun range, out for German food, and loved dogs more than I do. Grandpa Leo gave me the feeling I was special. The idea that I was his favorite kept me going through a lot of life. There was something else about him that I can’t quite name, but it goes like this: He didn’t know a lot about cars but decided to help me with mine and we were putting it up on those blocks that you drive up on.  Well, I drove OVER the edge of it and the car slammed down to the ground. He just set about getting those things out from under the car and checking that no damage was done. Later, I said I was sure we had broken the car. He said he was too. There was that element to him that I can’t name, but I can feel. The idea that it may be

Grandpa Leo.

Grandpa Leo.

a mistake and scary and even my fault, but let’s just focus on fixing it and moving on. He’s the Leo behind my pen name.

I had friends in high school with fathers that showed me what it could be like. I had male teachers who stepped up well beyond their job descriptions and pay grades, providing fatherly moments that I didn’t get otherwise. Mr. Hensely, Mr. Evans, Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr Kushner.

So yay for the Dads being celebrated this weekend, but also to those who weren’t my father, but were fatherly. Is there a Fatherly Day? Hallmark should get on that.

So, Grandfathers, Uncles, Teachers, Dads of Friends– Thank you.

You blessed me when I needed it and I’ll be thinking of you today.

Because you deserve nothing less and so much more.