Today I honour my husband Shane. He is the best father in the world to our children. I can't say enough how wonderful it has been to be married to a man who adores his children. When our first child Lorelei was born, I was terrified. She was tiny, only five and a half pounds when we brought her home. I was so worried that something would happen to her I was paralyzed in my mothering. Shane jumped in with both feet, even though she was his first child as well. He never hesitated to change a diaper, give a bottle, cuddle for hours or give a bath. In fact, he has bathed both our girls since birth, their slipperiness made me too uncomfortable to try it myself. He has been tender with them, soothing colicky cries, kissing boo boos, dancing with our girls to his favorite music. He makes them feel cherished. I love him so much for that. He is amazing with our oldest, firm and no nonsense but also doting. He has spent so much quality time with Lorelei since Calvin has died, taking her camping and fishing, spending daddy time with her. She has needed it, her place in our family has been shaken since the arrival of the twins and the death of her brother. He has been very aware of her needs and I thank him for that. Too often caught up in my own grief and the needs of Georgia, I often didn't have as much to offer Lorelei in the months following Calvin's death. I am so proud of Shane. He may not always be perfect, but his love for his children is.
As for my own dad, he wasn't the greatest father. He had alcohol and drug issues, gambling problems and didn't think twice about hitting his wives. He was though, the only father I knew and our relationship wasn't all bad. He was extremely proud of me in his own way, often taking me to his favorite neighbourhood watering hole and sitting me up on the barstool next to him. I would drink Shirley Temples until I thought I'd float away and he'd marvel at how many I could put away. He always had room on his lap for me, and I snuggle in against his belly and enjoy the smell of his cologne and the feel of his arm around me. He would take me for two weeks in the summer, always at some swanky cottage he had rented or in his camper at the best rv park in the world for kids. I would swim, play with the other kids until dark and stuff myself with peanut butter and cheese whiz sandwiches. I worshiped my dad. In the later years, we fell apart, my disapproval of his lifestyle driving a wedge between us. When I married my first husband, he urged me to contact my father and rekindle the relationship. I did and although it was strained, I was eventually able to say "I love you" again. The last conversation I had with my dad was him telling me he was going away for awhile and that I wouldn't be able to reach him at his home number. I assumed he was going to jail. Six months later I received a call that he had died of lung cancer. When I received the box of his things, it was filled with pictures of me. I wept like I would never stop. I do miss him and I'm so sorry he died alone, without family there. I pray he is in heaven looking out for my baby boy, being the grandfather to him that he was as a father to me when I was little.