What Father's Day Means to Me as a Daughter With a Disability
I believe Father’s Day should be an extra special day for biological fathers and their children, because you are reminded of how he helped you through the ups and downs of the year. But that isn’t the case for all families. Some biological father-child relationships are never formed, never forgotten or only exist on a very distant come-and-go basis which makes this time of year pretty difficult.
I am one of those adult children who still longs for the biological relationship with a father that’s more than a “I’ll be in town this weekend” once every two years, especially since the opportunity for a connection has always been just a person’s ability away. I especially long for it at this moment because of the significant leg surgery I had seven months ago, which has changed me as a person and my life in many ways.
Every child deserves to have their biological father say he is just a call away, or he’s proud of them, and mean it. I know many of you will say “if you want him in your life, make an effort.” My response would be, “A relationship works both ways and requires more than one moment of effort.” You may also say, “Biological father is just a title, if he doesn’t want to be in your life, it’s his loss and you have people who love you for him and then some.” As I said, knowing there has always been an ability for connection, I feel people will always long for it no matter what support they have, but I do agree that “other people love you for him and then some.” This brings me to my next point.
People often say stepparents are extra special because they step in by choice when the biological parent steps out. I have to agree, and for that reason, I will turn this story from a story about the longing of a relationship with a continuously absent father to a happy father’s day wish to the person who has always been there regardless of my situation.
My dearest stepfather,
Father’s Day and every day in between since I was 3 has been a blessing to have you by my side. From the days filled with my sassy attitude, medical challenges filled with fear for us all, to nights like tonight filled with your wild laugh over videos about dog farts, you teach me how a daughter should be loved by a father and that blood truly doesn’t matter when it comes to the definition of family. These last 17 years have been a blast with you by my side. I love you and am thankful for you always.
A very blessed young woman
Fathers, remember your children need you more than just to celebrate the success or good times in their life. Earn their respect by being there every day for the little and big things. Children, know you are loved and appreciated; it may not be by the people you expect, but that’s because you are extra special and deserve extra special people to show you that.
Happy Father’s Day weekend.
Getty image by Nadezhda1906.