|Uncle William (Other Dad's identical twin brother), Me and Dad|
No one took the time to tell me it was OK to love both. Equally.
But... I didn't know and so I spent years avoiding thinking of my father who had passed away. As I got older I felt bad for that.
And... more guilt.
Now that I am much older, I have told myself it is o.k. to love both equally and for very different reasons.
Heavenly Father blessed me with two Dads to love. Two that would touch my life in very different ways. I would have preferred that my Father were still alive and that he could have had an active role in how I grew up, but that wasn't the case.
Instead I was given memories of his love for me. I have my Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents that helped me to know him and to appreciate the kind of person he was.
The Father that raised me helped me to be a strong, independent woman. I don't know if he truly knows how much of I am is because of him. I knew him to be an honest businessman while I was growing up. I wanted people to regard me in the same way as an adult, so I emulated that.
I served a mission, in part, because of him. I wanted him to be proud of me for making good decisions and to give him the joy of having a missionary in the field.
"You need to decide if staying will take you closer to your Heavenly Father. If something is taking you farther away then you need to re-evaluate."
It was great advice and it still works with everything I do in my life. I have used that advice with my children and friends.
Happy Fathers Day Dad. I love you!
I love my Dads. How many get to be blessed with two.
No more guilt.
One more little memory that sprang to my mind while writing this. My Uncle John (who passed away several years ago) was trying to help me remember my new last name when I was adopted by my dad.
"You have come from being a rose to a wilted flower on a river bank."
But, I never forgot my last name again.