I always have mixed feelings when Father's Day comes around. My own father died of liver failure due to years of drinking when I was 30. He died on Easter Sunday 1967 following a long illness. By that time my husband and two children, the youngest only 4 months old, were living in another state and I was unable to attend his funeral.
When I was young my mother was a strong controlling being who had to work so we could eat. It caused my father to appear to be a weak parent in my eyes. Although they stayed together for 30 years their marriage was far less than happy. These were my early role models.
My first husband and the biological father of my sons was a self centered being, who preferred to spend time with his numerous girl friends rather than take on the role of father or even husband. After 13 years I woke up one morning and decided that my boys, then 10 and 5, and I would be much better off without him. He was their first paternal role model.
Not allowing enough time to adjust to the new circumstances I had created and take steps to believe in me I quickly married a second time. The man who would become a stepfather to my children had never been married and had no children. He also had a drinking problem that I admit I was aware of, but stubbornly ignored.
After 6 years and a ton of tears and praying on my part this man moved up to the role of father with the birth of our daughter. Because I followed the example my mother had set for me years before, I became the strong parent, causing my husband to appear weak to my children. After 27 years of an unhappy marriage I woke up one morning and decided I was done. It was a decision that ended in a non-contested divorce that amazingly only took 3 days to become a reality.
Since 1999 I have been on my own. There has been no man in any way shape or form in my life, except for occasional friends along the way. It's funny that most of them were not available for any other role. There was no doubt a really good reason for that! I needed time to develop confidence in me without male interference. It appears to have worked very well and perhaps now I can actually think about adding what is missing to the mix.
The odd part of this little story is that today two of my three grown children do not communicate with me, but seem to be joined at the hip to the man known as their biological father and step-father. Apparently it is his turn to be a parent. What goes around comes around and that's not a bad thing!