Celebrating the father figures in our lives can mean different things to different people- below, some of us at NoFilter shared our tributes to the dads, husbands, fathers become grandparents, and ex-husbands who have shaped our lives in some way.
To my husband,
Watching you be a father has made me a better mother than you’d ever believe. You’re so gentle and sweet with our son, yet stern when the situation calls for it. You’ve made our life perfect, balancing me and believing in me in all the ways I need, at all the most critical times. It’s because of you that I’m a better, gentler, and calmer mother each day, and I wish I could properly thank you for building this life with me. Our son is beyond lucky to have you as a dad, and I’m beyond lucky to have you as a partner. Stay forever, OK? OK, deal. We love you.
I am so proud that your heart chose me 29 years ago. Even though we are not blood related, your personality and spirit runs through my veins. I’m thankful for every time you made me push my limits, whether it was practicing my volleyball serve against the side of the house or riding roller coasters seven times in a row. I will always cherish the memories of fishing and Moon Pies and getting lost in Oklahoma trying to find a volleyball tournament in Arkansas. My heart melts when I see you play with Rowan the same way you played with us growing up, and I can’t wait for the memories Rowan makes with you. I love you!
Thank you for being absent from my life. It allowed me to understand what is really important in the grand scheme- and that isn’t money. It’s love, trust, and family. Family came to me in many shapes and forms to fill the space you left. Now as a parent myself I’m not angry you weren’t there. I feel sorry for you. I was a pretty awesome kid and you missed out on that. But that’s ok. It allowed me to make amazing memories with my mom, who by the way is an incredible strong woman, and she taught me how to be one too. I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day, wherever you are.
To my husband,
Thank you for giving me two beautiful girls to treasure and love with you. Parenthood is the scariest and most exhilarating journey but also the most rewarding adventure I’ve embarked on so far, and it wouldn’t be nearly so enjoyable without you. Watching you play with our girls, teach them right and wrong, and snuggle them close melts my heart every time. You are a tremendous daddy. This year we have spent too much time apart navigating our crazy lives, but seeing you reconnecting with our babies, teaching them stability, and modeling hard work makes me so proud of the man and dad you are.
Thank you. I don’t think I could say those two words enough to you. Thank you for giving me the gift of our son, and for stepping up in ways many people don’t. Thank you for being there when I couldn’t be. Thank you for all the times you have been there for me, during and after our relationship. I see so much of you in our boy, in his eyes and his hairline and his heart, and I am so grateful. You and I were never meant to last, but we were put together for a reason. I admire you, and I respect you, even when you make me mad. You are the perfect example of everything a man should be, and if our son grows up to be just like you, I will be a happy lady.
We didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but I admired your entrepreneurial spirit, and your wish to travel the world. You passed those traits on to me, and I often think about what you would do when I’m managing something difficult. Your love of sail boats and airplanes inspired me to see the world through your eyes. I miss you every day, and would give a million dollars to see you again.
Morse Rose, December 1st 1932 to March 7th, 2014.
To the father that couldn’t turned into the grandpa that can,
Watching you with children now is the greatest gift. One I treasure more because it isn’t who I remember, and for that I’m glad. That you survived, overcame, and continue to conquer the challenge to be a good man today is astounding. Thank you for resolving to do more, be more, and fulfill the purpose of your life. Thank you for loving us and your grandchildren and showing us every day.
Thank you for letting me be my own person and never making me conform to what other people thought I should be. You taught me that it’s ok to question things and it’s made me into a smarter person. Mostly, thank you for being the best daddy I could ask for. A copy of Ace Ventura is on its way, and I can’t wait to watch it with you for the millionth time. Love you more.
I love you, but I don’t like you, some days I even hate you, mostly I try not to think about you. I have spent my life hearing and making excuses for you and for your addictions. I have scars from all of the times that you have casually replaced me with other women’s daughters so that you can have your “second chance” at fatherhood. You showered them with love and attention and just your presence. You let their mothers push me out of your life. You went to their sporting events. You remembered their birthdays. You taught them to ride bikes and how to deal with boyfriends. All that you taught me was that I was replaceable. You taught me to smoke and to drink, you gave me constant fears of addiction and abandonment. I guess that I should thank you for showing me everything I would never want in a partner or parent to my children, but, to be honest, on father’s day I hate you the most.
Before we had children, I knew you’d be a great dad. You excel where I fail. You play, wrestle, and tickle. Through you, they are exposed to petting horses, fixing cars, identifying bugs, very fast book summaries, belly laughs, and swinging high. We all feel better when daddy walks through the door – all 6 of us. One of the first phrases of our oldest was, “daddy fix it,” because you always do. You know all of the answers to our questions, and can fix everything that’s broken. We love you, we adore you, and we simply can’t live without you.
Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for loving me as your own. Thank you for showing me what a real father should look like. You didn’t have to, but you did. And through it all, you never gave up on me. From blatant disrespect to the “you aren’t my real dad” fights, you taught me how to love unconditionally despite pain and hurt. From breakups to bullies, you taught me how to be strong and what it looks like to stand my ground. From secrets to lies, you taught me how to forgive even when there’s no remorse. And even after all of the stupid decisions I made, you still chose to claim me. We may not always see eye to eye, but I will never have to wonder where we stand. Thank you for accepting me as I am. Thank you for never regretting giving me your last name.
To my ex-husband,
Thank you for letting me divorce you. Breaking free from you has allowed me to find myself again. Your refusal to seek any help for your alcoholism, narcissism, and history of childhood trauma and abuse, has forced me to become the healthiest and strongest version of myself that I have ever been. Our kids deserve to have a fully functioning, brave, loving, emotionally stable and completely imperfect parent. Thank you for maintaining your apathy and indifference toward them, so that I can fully parent them without your input.
You were a bit ahead of your time. You were a babywearer before it was hip. You treated play with the respect that it deserves before people blogged about it. You exposed us to music – Bruce Springsteen Christmas songs, The Beatles movies, instruments that you made with your own voice, and Raffi concerts. You made us a puppet theater and played the characters. Our house was like a child’s dream. Today, you do the same with your grandchildren. They are instantly taken with you and love spending time with you. Thank you – for “getting” children and for loving us.
To the men who raised me,
Thank you. Thank you for stepping up and for choosing me. Thank you for your love and your time. Knowing the sting of being unwanted I can fully appreciate the joy and wonder at the way you two stepped up to make me into the woman I am today. I know that only one of you is still alive, but the other I still miss and think of daily. Because of the two of you I know a father’s love and my life is immeasurably better for it.