My Father’s Absence Made Me Stronger

As the last Father’s Day before I graduate from GSU passes, I can’t help but wish my dad were here.

Every day I think about my dad, even just for a moment. I wonder what my life would have been like if he hadn’t left this world all those years ago. Would we have listened to his record collection as he told me stories from his youth? Would he have gotten mad at me and grounded me when I misbehaved, or would he have given in and let me off the hook? I wonder if he would have shed a tear at my high school graduation and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I wonder if he would approve of the man I marry and be a hip grandpa to my kids.

I wonder what it would be like to have a dad and how it might have changed the way I view myself and my sense of self-worth. I wonder about all the ways he would have made me a better person.

Family photo shortly before my dad died

I now realize that through his absence, he has made me a better person and he has had an immeasurable impact on my life. Through his absence, he has made me see the strength a woman can have to conquer life’s toughest challenges. He gave me the opportunity to see my mom face those challenges head-on and rise above endless obstacles with courage and passion. Through his absence, he has allowed me to see my mom and learn how to be a strong, independent and ambitious woman who loves with all of her might and gives with all of her heart. He is always in my heart, teaching me to be the best person I can be and guiding me through life’s most difficult and most precious moments.

This Father’s Day, I want to thank my dad for leaving me my mom so she could teach me how to be a woman, a mother and a father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day, Mom!

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