When I was growing up, none of my friends really had stable family lives. Parents were either separated, divorced or living together unhappily. By comparison, I had a positively glowing family life. I had a mother and father who loved me, two older brothers who would torment me relentlessly, and a younger sister who I wanted to tease and annoy but couldn’t bring myself to do the full amount I wanted to.

My father wasn’t my biological father, but he was most assuredly my dad. The sperm donor who helped create me didn’t sound like the greatest person in the world. I’ve only met him once or twice and it was after I was an adult. The first meeting was awkward, as something like that would be, the second meeting was a completely random encounter. He was coming out of a movie theater as I was going into it. That was 11 years ago. The only connection I have to him anymore is that he and I share a first name and I still have his last name since it’s what is legally mine.

The man who raised me is really my father and I love him very much. He and I may have had our differences when I was growing up, what kid didn’t really? Frankly it’s those kids who got along swimmingly both parents all the time that creeped me out, talk about unnatural. But I was a stubborn pain in the ass growing up. Moreso than most teenagers are. That man put up with my shit when he really didn’t have to.

He raised me. He taught me a lot of what it meant to be an adult. I never really thanked him for any of that, I probably came across as an ungrateful brat a lot of the time. And I really took him for granted. He was a better man than I ever gave him credit for. And now that he lives way off in the middle of nowhere, or as he likes to call it “Yuma, Arizona”, I haven’t seen him in a long time and I realize that I miss him a lot.

So while I did talk to him yesterday, I don’t think I’ve ever made any of this clear to him. So there you go dad. I don’t think I could have asked for a better dad while growing up and I appreciate everything you did for me.

Happy Father’s Day.