The person I call 'dad' and smile about is my ex-wife's dad. And here's why.
I met my ex when I was 18, dated when I was 19, and married when I was 20. Yes, I was legally considered an adult, but I really wasn't 'grown up.' My dad really wasn't the lesson-teaching type, so everything I had learned from this point was pretty much self-taught. That is, until Boyd stepped in.
Boyd accepted me with open arms, and treated me like a son from the get-go. He gave advice, answered questions, and kicked my butt when it needed to be kicked. He was everything my dad wasn't, and I loved him for that.
Masonry wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and I grew tired of the political posturing that a lot of members focused on. I learned a lot while I was a member, but I just didn't see it as a good fit. Maybe I'm just not the secret society type?
Over the years Boyd took me under his wing, and helped teach me skills that every man should know. We worked on home projects together, fixing cars, doing taxes, and many other 'adult' things. He answered all of my questions candidly, and treated me like a peer instead of a nuisance.
When I look back at my youth, I don't see a lot of 'warm and fuzzy' memories of my dad and I hanging out. But in the short amount of time I spent with Boyd, he became the real dad in my life.
With good comes bad. He wasn't a perfect man by any means. He introduced me to PC games like Starcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, and World of Warcraft. We bonded over gaming addictions as well as cars and business-talk.
Sadly, Boyd passed away in 2008. He died of Heart Failure, in a fairly quick fashion. My youngest was born, and in less than 2 months grandpa had passed on. It was a devastating loss to the family, and my first experience with death for someone I loved deeply, and mourned intensely.
Though dead, he will never truly be gone. His lessons linger in my heart, and I will always remember him and all the good times. My youngest will never remember being held in papa's arms, but I will make sure he knows about this great man, and what he did for me.
Happy Father's Day, Boyd. You're missed, and will never be forgotten.