My very first trial involved an unwed father, who wanted to spend quality time with his son. He did not just want to be an alternating weekend dad, which the mother thought was more than enough. Thankfully, the court agreed with me, and found that it was in the child’s best interest to have both parents share physical custody. Ever since then, I have always had a special soft spot for dads willing to step up and be a part of their kids lives, although until recently when I finally found my own father, I could not comprehend the impact these men would have on their children.
Six years ago, the late Tim Russert compiled letters from sons and daughters about their fondest memories of their fathers. “Wisdom of Our Fathers” received very positive reviews, but fearing that I would not truly be able to appreciate it, I held off reading it– until now. I am so glad I finally was able to enjoy the stories of all these children, now grown, sharing little pieces of how their fathers helped to shape them. A recurring theme seems to be that while many men indeed focused on providing for their families, little acts of kindness and/or meaningful talks at a pivotal moment in a child’s life, later had a profound and lasting impact in the lives of their offspring.
I am so glad that I finally have my own stories that I will always treasure about the moments I have been able to share with my dad in the last year and a half. The best lesson I’ve learned from my dad is that timing is everything. Perhaps 39 years ago he was not ready to be a dad, and I had to go on my own ridiculous journey for the next 38 years before I was ready to be his daughter and become a big sister. Things do happen for a reason, and rather than question everything, I am finally learning to enjoy the ride and stop the search for the Master Plan– if there is one, I’m pretty sure a copy is not lying around here on Earth.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.