For All The Dad’s

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David and I

Father’s Day has always been a mixed bag of emotions for me. It is no secret that all the father/daughter relationships I have experienced in my life are complicated.

My relationship with my father was mostly non existent aside from a few times I remember spending with him and a few short months I lived with him that felt like an eternity. He was always a stranger to me. I was uncomfortable and eventually afraid of him. As an adult, and now that I have children of my own, I made the decision to cut him out of my life years ago.

My relationship with my step father lasted from the time I was a preschooler until I was 11. I hardly remember this relationship to be honest. I think I thought of him as my dad, but early on I realized he was not faithful to my mother and that their relationship was in trouble. He made the choice to cut himself from my life when he hurt me and betrayed my trust. He betrayed our entire family.

Then David became a huge part of my life. I have known David since I was very young, in fact he is the one who taught me how to tie my shoes. David was a friend of my mother’s for years and they have now been together for almost 18 years. He is the closest thing to a father I have ever had. He is also a close and trusted friend.

When I was thirteen I moved back to California with him and my mom after spending a year away with my grandma and grandpa in North Dakota. Life felt a little awkward at first, I’m sure it did for him too suddenly becoming a dad figure to a girl and two boys. Over the years he earned my trust and love by showing me what a father should be. He has a calm spirit, he is incredibly smart and wise. He took the time to spend with me and teach me.

One of my favorite memories is still him taking me to Starbucks and ordering us white chocolate mochas while he helped me with my math homework. He taught me about geology and would share his rock collection with me. I have so many wonderful memories of going to rock shows, flea markets, berry picking, beach trips, more Starbucks stops, and car rides with just him and I in his truck listening to my silly pop music of the times.

David, thank you for being a steadfast presence in my life. Thank you for encouraging me, teaching me, loving me, and for showing me how a man should treat a woman and be a father. Thank you for being my friend still in my adult years. Thank you for being a grandpa to my children. I trust you with them whole heartedly and I cannot wait for them to learn how to fish with you and learn all there is to know about rocks and fossils. I love you and you are the best dad in the world.

A father is an important part of everyone’s life. Not only that, but men are important and the role they play in the lives of their children, their nieces and nephews, their grandchildren, etc. There are so many good and wonderful men in the world and so many that made a difference in my life when I did not feel like I had a father of my own. There are so many that showed me what it meant to belong, to be valued and loved, to be protected, and I would just like to take a moment to say thank you.

To my grandpa Larry and grandpa Joel…you are both in heaven now, but I think of you often. You were both loving and kind to me. I will NEVER forget the time when I was living with my grandpa Joel in North Dakota as a twelve year old girl and I woke up because I wet the bed. I was ashamed and embarrassed and I slept the rest of the night on the floor. When he came in the morning to wake me up for school he asked, “What are you doing on the floor?” I didn’t answer him because I was scared he would be mad. He walked over to the bed, saw that I had wet it, and he just nodded and didn’t say anything and left the room. It showed me so much about his character and I will never forget it.

To my grandpa Roger…thank you for accepting me as your granddaughter when my mother married your son. Even after their marriage ended you have always been a loving grandfather to me. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent at your house in Forest Ranch. I loved being outside in the trees, driving the golf cart around, family meals, games, and our time spent sitting on the porch swing counting the stars and singing hymns. Thank you for bringing Jesus into my life.

I would like to say thank you to my husband. Jason, from the moment I met you I knew I wanted you to be the father of my children. I love you and trust you wholeheartedly with them. Thank you for showing them every day what it means to be a loving father. Happy Father’s Day to you.

Jason and the kids

Thank you to my father in law David. I love being a Cerrato. I love being a part of your family. You have raised four wonderful children and you are such a loving grandpa. Your work ethic, your love for your family, and your generosity do not go unnoticed. I am grateful for you and love you very much.

To all the dads of my friends growing up who made me feel like I was just another one of their kids…thank you. It was so nice to have a place to go that felt like a home where I belonged. I will never forget being “Number Four” to my friend Kayla’s dad. These little things can make a world of difference in the life of a little girl.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, whether by blood, or by your example. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads in my family, your kids are so fortunate to have you. Remember that you make a difference and all the little ones in your life who trust you and depend on you. Show them what it means to truly be a father and they will never forget it. I will never forget those that made a difference in my life.

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