Today is International Mens Day. This is a day to celebrate the men in our lives and all the amazing things that they are and do. This year’s theme is “positive male role models.” And to commemorate this uberliciously fabulous day, I’d like to take today’s post to honor two very special men in my life; hubby and my step-dad (who I refer to as Dad now). Both of whom have been a major positive role model in my life.
Y’all know how much I adore hubby. Just this past weekend we celebrated 8 years together and he spoiled me with an incredible bauble…just the kind I like all sparkly and beautiful. He took me out to dinner and to see the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II.
But hubby is so much more than the ultimate gift buyer and movie goer. He is more than urban word Wednesday fun. He is so much more than the guy who spoils me with new clothes and a panty drawer overhaul. He is an incredible person, best friend, husband, lover, role model and father.
Hubby has taught me how to love and trust in relationships and life again. When he came into my life, I was pretty skeptical. I had lost my father in a car accident 13 short years earlier and the mark of that devastation and lost was firmly tattooed on my heart and soul. I was paralyzed by the fear that any man I loved was going to leave me; one way or another. That fear of abandonment dominated my life and left me unable to love, trust and experience healthy relationships.
When hubby came into my life, there was no doubt I was in the best place I had ever been. I had taken months on my own to build up my self-esteem and self-love but I was still unsure of how to translate that into a relationship…and I wasn’t sure if I even could.
But when he came into my life, hubby took his time. He was patient, open, kind and loving. He shared with me. He bore his soul to me. He showed me what it was to be vulnerable and to put your heart in someone else’s hand with no expectations for the future. He had enough faith in love and “us” for the two of us. And with him as a constant, I began to see the light. I began to fall in love and shared myself in a way I had never done before. For the first time in what felt like a very long time, I was able to let go…and with complete abandonment, love!
With hubby…I finally became whole…and found myself.
But before hubby, came another defining relationship in my life that I believe was instrumental in my healing. My Dad.
My Mom had been a window and single for 8 years before my Dad came into the picture. Mom and I had lived together as roommates for most of that time and we had a very close relationship. I knew she was ready to start dating and I really wanted to see her happy. I mean come on…8 years had passed. She was a vibrant, incredible woman in the prime of her life…she deserved to find love again!
It shocked me how upset and angry I was when she did actually start dating and falling in love with another man. In my head, I knew it was a great thing and I knew the man was perfect for her…but my heart was another matter. I couldn’t seem to get passed it. For years, my relationship with my Dad although positive and loving on the surface, had an underlying current of distrust and hurt. I loved him. I was happy for her. But I struggled to truly accept and love him wholeheartedly.
For years, I called my Dad by his first name and held him somewhat at arm’s length. I married my first husband and moved out of the house and a few years passed.
It was when I left my first husband and moved back home that my relationships with my Dad totally changed. Of course, Mom was there for me for hours of counseling and talking but she was also working a lot so it just so happened that my Dad and I were home together, a lot. I was struggling to find the answers to how I had made such a mess of my life and my Dad was there for me at every turn.
All these years he had never pushed or tried to force a deeper relationship with me. And here we found ourselves talking for hours on end. He helped me through the pain and devastation. He taught me about love, acceptance, and self-love. He helped me to take accountability for my choices and decisions that had led me to where I was. He showed me what it was to listen, to be heard, and to feel understood. He enabled and empowered me to figure out who I wanted to be going forward. And in those weeks and months, he became a father to me in every sense of the word.
Without knowing or trying, we became a father and a daughter and in that…a piece of my heart that I thought was permanently broken with the death of my father, healed. I became whole again. And I started calling him Dad…because that’s what he had become.
Hubby and Dad…these two men who came into my world later in life but both have played critical roles in helping me shape and define who I am today.
So today…on International Mens Day…I celebrate you hubby and Dad…the two most influencing men in my life. Two of my greatest joys. Two of the most incredible men I’ve had the honor to know and love. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for everything you continue to do. Without either of you, my world wouldn’t be the same.
I love you both more than words could ever say!
What men do you celebrate today? How have they shaped you and your life? What man has been the greatest role model in your life and why? Come on…share the wealth…
More blog deliciousness here:
- Great guest post by Bill Hopkins on Elizabeth Craig’s blog about points of view. Followed up with Janice Hardy’s post on choosing between first and third point of view and I’m all set to pick a view!
- Query as a plotting tool? Totally cool – Janice Hardy shows us how.
- Loved August McLaughlin’s post on figuring out if it’s time to change your blog or not – great signs to look for.