What makes a father a dad?

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads. I woke up thinking what makes a dad? I mean we all have fathers, but it seems fewer of us have dads. I login on Facebook to see so many have posted ole time snapshots of their fathers from days gone by. And I cant help but wonder if thats done out of love and reflection, or to follow the mainstream. Were these people the product of great childhoods, were their dads great men who loved and sacrificed in honor of the family? And if so, did his children recognize that when they were young, or is it only now in adulthood that memories smooth the edges, making their father something more than he was?

I guess fatherhood and its expectations have changed throughout the generations. There was a time when being the bread winner was all there was to being a good father. Today fathers are expected to participate in the home, attend Barbie bday parties, father/daughter dances, trick or treat the streets holding little hands, and laugh love and giggle with their kids. Its not a challenge every father can tackle, thus there are many more fathers than dads.

My dad had a hard life. He had a sixth grade education. His father abandoned his family of four boys. The love of his wife died in his arms, leaving him the a single parent. Later he married a mentally unstable woman and fathered three three more children. The household was poor, abusive and full of stress, fighting was commonplace. Yet despite it all, my father had moments of greatness when I felt like a kid, who had a dad. It was the simple gestures I remember the most, getting a creamee, candy & soda pop while garage saling with Gram, when he’d speed up the car going up over a hill, the only version of a roller coaster I’d know for many years. My father protected us, the best he knew how, from the angry hands of a mother less equipped to be a mother than most, and he at least tried, and had the sense of mind to know his children werent living great childhoods, but he tried to give us moments where we could simply just be kids. Happy Fathers day Dad.

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Talent is undeniable

Sunday night I was fortunate enough to attend P!nk’s The Truth About Love concert at the Amway Center. It made me want to watch less TV and more VH-1, MTV and/or listen to Pandora. Raw talent and passion is stimulating and contagious; it opens the soul allowing us to see between the lines and feel the pain, joy and excitment of life. I havent been to a really great concert for years and P!nk did not disappoint. I found myself transported to a younger age, a freedom from
the daily shackles of a life half lived.

The age range and diversity of the audience proved the staying power of a skilled artist, remaining relevant while not losing the interest of fans like me who followed her 10-12 years ago. I can say from experience she’s grown with age and life experience. She’s also become a strong and compassionate woman, loving mother and dedicated wife not to proud to beg for a second chance at love. I have mad respect for this generous funny and engaging artist.

I cant even begin to explain the exhileration you feel as P!nk is sailing effortlessly through the air. Dazzle me with thrills and heart pounding music, touching a chord for me personally, and by the shear number in attendance, a woman and artist whose message is and continues to be heard by many. I Would see her again in the blink of an eye! Great show and great evening. Proving you can be 50 and still scream and hollar with childish excitment. Proving you dont have to drink to have fun at some swanky West Palm club, and that you dont always have to be a ‘proper lady’ to warrant respect and admiration. Rock on sistah, youre simply more amazing with each song, youre poetry is felt as it is heard. Peace

Mother May I

I was thinking today or better yet I was reminded of the fact that I have never had a mother. She didnt die. I wasnt adopted. I wasnt abandoned. I just wasnt fortunate in life, the woman whose womb housed me was cruel and selfish and despite bringing five children into the world, really didnt want any of them. I later had a step mother, but she too was cruel, just in a different way. No woman has known me like a mother would. No woman remembers my first step, the sound of my laughter or the sweet taste of my tears.

I guess I was thinking about it for several reasons. I work with women who appear from what I can see to be good moms, they are involved and engaged and their kids are a priority. I also have had the chance to observe a friend who recently became a mother closeup and personal, and I see what joy she finds in this new role. I also see how my biological mother’s lack of maternal instinct has shaped other siblings and in the way they feel about themselves and how they view or value love. It makes me wonder if my life wouldve been different with a mom and how. I wonder if it would have shaped my beliefs differently and if I wouldve had a family.

I remember growing up and wishing I were adopted or living in an orphanage. The way I saw it was I wouldve been able to dazzle someone somewhere into loving me and making me part of their family. But it never happened. Instead I was the byproduct of an unhappy marriage, and then the byproduct of another miserable marriage. It’s no wonder I longed but feared commitment.

Sometimes I wonder if my sexuality was shaped by my past, by the lack of a mother’s unique and unconditional love. I will never know the answer because I will never be able to turn back the clock. I wonder if she ever wishes she could turn back the clock. Probably not. She still lives and still nothing changes. Shes now a grandparent and its a title she holds, despite having no idea what the role typically involves.

John Mayer’s lyrics remind me, every son will become a father and husband. Every daughter will become a wife (partner/lover), its you ‘mom’ who shows her how and what to be. So for all you mothers out there, do your job, its more important than anything else you will ever do. You have the power in your hands and your heart really does hold the key to everything. Peace.

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Time Time Time…is slipping

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March is almost amongst us and that’s caused me to look at the first part of the year. Time flies. It’s been a strange few months, good and bad. Great highs and tremendous lows.

A good friend had a baby and it was a glorious event; I see it bringing her great happiness and bringing her family closer together. Another friend still struggles with the death of her premature baby’s passing. Life and death. Rhonda’s close coworker is losing his dad to cancer unexpectedly and quickly, and this week he found out he & his wife are expecting. Life and death.

A month from today I will be writing my blog from Vermont, where I will be spending the night at my brother’s home; a relationship I had almost given up on years ago. It’s funny how life unfolds and how small gestures can change and literally move mountains.

This year has, so far, been eye opening to me. On a personal note I’ve had two run-ins with the cops and realize I should’nt take so many things for granted. This year I’ve experienced great love and great loss, hanging on to feelings and relationships that aren’t always healthy; and I find it’s a curse for more than just myself in our family. We care too much sometimes. It allows us to be used. I will not be used and last year I did an awesome job of weeding past those habits. This year I will continue. And then there are the people who we don’t thank enough. So to those people ‘thank you’ for loving me and getting me. And for bailing me out of the shit I can sometimes get myself stuck in.

This year I have found a passion for writing. This year I have fostered a love of music and spend at least an hour a day immersed in it, and I have grown more fond of my appreciation of a peaceful existence. This year I have changed so many things I thought were unchangeable.

So, I wonder, are we all works in progress? Do others sit and ponder their lives, and their place in it? Or is it just me, OCD that I am, taking stock and inventory of where I am and where I’m going? Not for some master plan, but just for myself. It’s like cleaning your readers, in doing so it’s amazing what you’ll see.

We live our whole lives trying to survive. We live our whole lives looking for the perfect love. We work our whole lives saving to retire. It makes me wonder where’s the ‘living’??? I would give anything to have lived in a simplier time, a time less complex, where the basic simplicity of life & love wasn’t only enough, it was grandly cherished.

I’m far from perfect. And despite a changing complex world where we still find ourselves in senseless wars and people still fight for basic freedom & rights. I suppose that means the world mirrors me (and you) pictures of imperfection. As I examine the beginning of 2013 I find comfort in knowing you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. How do I know? I’m an old dog, and this year I’m changing things, parts of me I have carried around for the past 40+ years. It may have taken a wakeup call, but at least I heard the alarm.

The moral of the story? Look at yourself. What do you see? Are you happy with what you see? It not, change it. Garbage in=Garbage out.

I believe every life we live there’s a lesson in it. Mine may be to trust more and be trusted more. I could certainly use a hot wax and detail on both.

The truth we can’t escape is that time Ticks on, and fast. So visit that old friend whose voice makes you smile. Talk more often to those you love. Smell the flowers and fertilize your personal garden. Make the changes you see are needed. Stop the behavior that’s pulled you down.

I’m challenging myself this year to make three major and life altering things about myself. I’m a month into one, and it feels good. I’m six months into a second, and while challenging, I’m still staying afloat. If I can do this, so can you. So don’t let the days turn into months turn into years. Today. Tonight. In this moment, be the best person you can be, the rewards are mindblowing. You may just find the greatest job you have is loving yourself, and that your most trusted and valued friend is none other than the same person. You. Walk proud and loud! Peace.

Bad luck

It’s only February 15 but already I can tell 2013 isnt going to be my year. Bad luck has found its way to my house and it lurks smirking at my front door.

I’ve never had particularly great luck, no winning lotto tix, no deceased rich family members coming out of the woodworks, no miracle cures, no stroke of beauty or grace. No, I’m 5’2″ of clumsy. However 2013 has shown me a whole new side of bad luck and it’s just six weeks into the new year.

I’m going to close my eyes, click my heels together, and hope I wake up into the shadows of someone else’s 2013. Cuz I don’t really like mine so far. Indeed its been an eye opening six weeks, and Already I’m saying ENOUGH already!!!

So please bad luck charms, black cats and sidewalk cracks, sorry if I somehow offended you. Grandest of apologies. Please return me to my simple uneventful life where things go right, I’m sorry if I’ve tempted faith. I really just want to live a peaceful life without a black cloud above my head. Pretty please. Peace.

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Lessons are rarely easy

Lessons are part of life.
Lately I have learned more than my share. But to all of those who helped show me the way; true colors are always brilliant even when the rainbow fades.
Every flower buds, blooms and dies. Learn your lessons well, for you too live and walk this road alone.
But for a few whose voices become my eyes, I await the day youre knocked from thine throne.

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Congrats Baltimore, SanFran you made a good comeback

Wasnt my fav SuperBowl, but it got better in the second half. I was hoping the 49ers would pull it off, but just didnt happen. But Pats are my true team, so I dont really care.

All the guys played hard and thats got to be respected.

Fav part of the day was seeing my great niece Gi who was visiting from the North, she was great fun. Love kids in that young adventurous age full of laughter and enthusiasm, so easy to make them happy. Wish life and people stayed that way. Growing up sucks. It did for me and it must suck for you too. Life gets so complicated and we cant always just enjoy things so sweet and innocently as children. God bless the children. They dont know how truly truly blessed they are. Theres nothing like the pure joy of a simple giggle.

Peace.