It’s funny. I do not call you dad. I call you Joe. It feels right, to both of us. You met my mom well after I was grown. You gave a woman who is so deserving a new start on life. A better life, for both of you. My mom deserved happiness and security. I am so thankful you were there to provide it. You scared the crap out of her (and us) when you had a heart attack. Made her (and us) smile again when you were able to ride the carousel.
You did not walk me down the aisle when I married. That wasn’t our relationship at the time. But you stood proudly as I made this so important step. When David and built our house, when I went back to college, when we visit one another our relationship evolves into more than friendship. More than respect. A relationship based on trust and love. More father/daughter than step dad/ step monster. That you got to avoid my teenage years is my gift to you this Father’s Day.
Although it wasn’t until Abby was born that our relationship truly began.
I will never forget the day I brought Abby home from the hospital. You took her into your arms and the connection was forged. From that moment on you were no longer standing by in our lives but living the important moments with us. You stopped asking mom if it was okay to go into my refrigerator. You realized you were no longer company but family.
That is when you transitioned from my mom’s husband to my dad. You became Abby’s number one when you both accepted one another as is. She deals with your falling asleep in movies. You deal with her needing your endless attention. You suffer through her planning a Princess Birthday party for you. She suffers you trying to teach her Latin and math concepts. Plus you ate the cake she made so bonus points.
You are not Grandpa but Jampa. Even though she can actually pronounce Grandpa she is quick to correct anyone who dares call you Grandpa. While she might not understand why you are a Joe and not a dad to me, she understands unwavering love. In fact she taught us that lesson early on.
|Abby and her #1 Jampa Joe|
When Boo was born Abby hoped she would get your eyes. Not understanding that, well you being Asian and us being of Irish descent made that kind of impossible.
You show the same patience with Boo. Involving her in your endless games of Memory with Abby. Even though she cheats (Boo, that is *wink **wink).
Boo might not have ended up with your eyes, but we all win with you as our number one.
Recently at school she showed off a picture of you. She didn’t understand why people were surprised that you were her grandfather. Abby retorted to the teacher: Of course he is, don’t you see how we look alike?
As you are a man who exudes and respects traditions we appreciate your sacrifice to our chaotic, crazy and no way traditional family.
Happy Day from Boo. Happy Jampa Day from Abby who will never see you as anything other than her Jampa. And last but not least, Happy Father’s day from a woman who considers herself lucky to have her Joe.