Growing up, I had quite the rollercoaster relationship with you. As a baby, I wouldn’t sleep unless you were there. My mom would be dealing with my insomnia for days, ready to pull her own hair out of her skull, and then you would just show up, put me in your arms, and I would pass out immediately.
You were the first man I ever loved and trusted.
As I grew older, our relationship got more tricky. There was so much “butting heads” between us. I didn’t realize at the time that it was because you and I were cut from the same cloth: fiercely independent, headstrong, smarter than most of the people around us, stubborn, calculating, manipulative when we had to be, secretive, opinionated. Our similarities drove a wedge between us that took almost two decades to close. We lost a lot of time, and there were certain things I had trouble letting go of – like the violence in the household, the drinking, the financial decisions you often made that none of us (me, mom, or Russell) could ever understand.
But I get it now. I see things in a very different light, and I now understand what kind of man you decided to be in order to try to do right by your family.
And this world needs more dads like you.
I was having a discussion about you with a friend this morning, and I want to pass along our text conversation.
(him) On many things, he’s my kinda dude. I love hearing you talk about him. Having a daughter, it’s really cool for me to watch.
He makes me really want to get my money right in a big way, so if my daughter (or son) needs something, I can make that happen for them. That kind of preparation for the unforeseen is the dopest dad shit ever. I never had an inch of that kind of support or net. He’s upped my dad goals. Straight up.
(me) Yeah, my dad is one of the most frugal people I have ever known, and it was always such a source of contention growing up. And now, decades later, that frugality is paying the way to save my life.
So fucking dope! That kind of vision. Often we plan and make decisions folks around us don’t understand and get crap for it just to be right way later. It’s like, to be a true hero, we have to survive being the villain in people’s eyes first. That’s leadership. Leaders see what’s needed before everyone else. By the time they catch up and see what the leader sees, it would be too late to act. So when the leader acts and no one sees it, they think he’s tripping. That can be lonely and a little painful, so many opt out and aren’t strong enough to do it anyway. They give in to the sway of the people. Your dad didn’t, for years. That type of strength is uncommon and amazing. I’m blown away and definitely need to step up.
Daddy, not only are you helping to save my life right now, but you are also inspiring men you have never even met to become even greater father versions of themselves.
I am in awe of you.
your golden child