To this day, every year I get a Father's Day card from my daughter. I was never married to her biological Dad and she was sixteen before they became acquainted. I'm glad they have a good relationship now ... but there is a teeny little part of me that is as grateful that she often refers to him as 'Uncle Dad' as I am for the drawer full of cards.
My Mom had much better taste in men than I ever did. There was never a time when my Dad 'wasn't ready' to step up to the plate as a father. He didn't need to go find himself ... he knew exactly where he was ... and that was usually showing or sharing some interesting thing with his children.
I remember the last day I spent with my Dad. He was still bursting with pride after my brothers' graduation as a Master Engineer at UNB. We had gone back to the farm, and Dad spent a good part of the day explaining to me how he had built the lunenburg dory.
You have to understand that this wasn't just a well crafted replica. My father never left the boy from North Sydney behind..... the one who used to work on boats with his Dad. It was Dad's big dream to build a boat and during all the years of moving around while he was serving our country, the boat building magazines and books became quite a collection.
When Dad retired .. it was finally time. There was a treasure trove of lovely boards that had been sawed from trees he took down from his own land. He had his hand on it all every step of the way.
Its a beautiful boat that has never been in the water. Within the week it was finished, we lost Dad to a massive heart attack.
Dad always loved to teach and even after he was gone still had something to share .... the importance of creating and crafting our dreams , whether or not we are the ones who will take them out on the water.