Growing up without a father was far less difficult than raising three young children without a partner.
An electrical wire killed my dad in August 1977 when the ladder with which he was using brushed against it.
Needless to say, the wire not being covered drastically changed my family’s life instantly. With most situations in life, though, there is a silver lining, a blessing in disguise, choose your cliche’, making his accident bearable, at least for his children.
As I enter the second week of my husband being out of town, I am once again in awe of single parents out there. It is hard. I never realized that as a child but man did that fact slap me in the face as an adult. My mother, a single parent, set the bar high. I didn’t realize how high until I had children of my own.
I had my first child at the age my father was when he passed away. When my oldest son reached the age of my brother when our dad left our family, so much become clear to me. Imagining my son, at four years old, suddenly never seeing his dad (my husband) again hit me hard in the gut. Tears ejected from my eyes because suddenly I realized so much about life, not at my expense, about my mom, about my brother, and about death.
My brother is an extraordinary person and in many ways played the father role to me and my twin sister. He held a lot against him without taking in that what he experienced as a four year old was remarkable and life altering.
Lucky for my family, we grew up in a community where the phrase “it takes a village” may have originated. In Maine, community is “it”, richness comes from the people around you and not from dollars. We had a community of friends and family supporting us, filling the void of being fatherless.
My brother, sister, and I never felt at a loss for anything. We had fathers all over our community. I’ve had fathers my whole life. How lucky am I?
Happy fathers day to all those people who have been there for a child.