getting raw this father’s day

I haven’t been the greatest blogger lately, I know. I have topics I want to write about, but I just haven’t felt inspired to start typing away at anything – except for today. I got really inspired to write about what Father’s Day means to me.

Father’s day has always been a bit of a Debbie Downer day for me. My father was always inconsistent in whether he felt like being a father to me or not – and it was on Father’s Day 2009 that my father avoided my phone calls and avoided me entirely so that he could celebrate Father’s Day with his “real family” (my step-mom and half brother) – this resulted in me cutting off that relationship. I could only handle so much emotional abuse before it started to consume and destroy my soul. It was a heart wrenching decision to make, but I did it to protect myself from a lifetime of hurt.

I’ve since forgiven him for all the many years of being treated like a second rate child who he was embarrassed to admit he had because it reminded him of his failed marriage to my mother and that his life was not the perfect picture he wanted people to see. I now view him just like any other man; flawed. We are all flawed in all different ways – but his poor choices and unwillingness to admit his wrongs have resulted in missing out on not only my life and my brother’s life, but some pretty beautiful grandchildren. I hope one day we can reconcile and have some kind of relationship, although I will never be able to let my guard down the way I used to – that’s for sure.

Moving forward into positive land, I thankfully have the most spectacular step-dad any girl could ever ask for. He managed to find that perfect balance of never overstepping and trying to “replace” my dad, while always being there for me; father-daughter dance, graduations, going away to college, supporting my travel desires, sorority banquets, prom pictures, cheerleading, walking me down the isle – the list goes on and on. He is the kindest, most patient man – and today, I’m celebrating him. I definitely have “daddy-issues” as people rudely refer to people like me (100 percent certain that term was coined by someone who had a great dad growing up), but thanks to my step-dad, my “daddy-issues” have been gravely reduced. So thanks Dan VanHamersveld for always being there. I am very thankful to have you.

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Now for the obvious rant that you knew was coming – I want to talk about how great it is to watch Ryan be a Dad to Porter. The most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my life is provide my child with such a wonderfully loving, playful and dedicated Father. These two love each other so much – it’s obvious in how Porter lights up when Ryan walks through the door every evening. I feel so blessed that I had a baby with such a wonderful man. Ryan, I am so proud of the Father that you’ve become. We love you so very much.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there!

3 thoughts on “getting raw this father’s day

  1. What a fantastically sentimental and optimistic loom at Father’s Day. We do all have issues, and I am glad you have been able to work through them with a great step-dad! (Also, I know this is late but I’m glad I took the time to read it anyways)

  2. What a heart felt post from a beautiful woman. I love you Beth. Dan has never waivered in his love for you kids. I am thankful for his love and dedication to his family and Ryan is doing the same. Wonderful.

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