December 14, 2018

Happy Father’s Day 2016

I have been a single mom since my son was a baby. I was divorced before he turned one and while his father lives close by and has a relationship with our son, I raised this boy by myself with no financial, emotional, spiritual, or physical support. My son is a wonderful human being and that is because even though he has a dad, I have been his mother and father. Being a single parent is a remarkable job for remarkable people.

I taught my son to ride a bike, took him on his first fishing trip, passed on my faith, comforted him through loss, explained sex, taught him to respect women, taught him to respect himself, encouraged him to follow his dreams, raised him to believe no dream was impossible, to help those who are less fortunate, and ensured he embraces others regardless of the color of the their skin, name of their God, or who they love. He's a good man.

Being a single parent is as difficult as it is rewarding. I raised my son in a city where I had no family, so I created one. I leaned on my friends, temple, Rabbi, teachers, the parents of his friends, and employers to help me raise this remarkable young man. I did not and could not lean on his dad. In looking back at my life as a single parent,  I am proud of myself, wish it could have been different, and grateful as it is all I have even known.

When my son was one, my father sent me flowers for Father’s Day. He told me he was proud of me and said I was a great mom and a wonderful dad. It meant a lot to me that the man I loved and respected more than any other man in the world acknowledged I was doing everything and being everyone to my son. I raised a boy to be a man on my own and Father’s Day is for celebrating my father, son, and me. My son gives me a Father's Day card each year.

Life as a single parent is a blessed and interesting one for both parents and kids. There is an us against the world connection. As single parents we cry harder, laugh deeper, worry more, and pray longer because we are alone. Life is loud because it is just you listening, and life is silent because you are by yourself. It is a life of sacrifices and rewards. I am a strong and proud single parent because the title makes me an honorary super hero.

Happy Father’s Day to fathers who take care of their kids and to those who have lost their dads and wish they were still here. Happy Father’s Day to sons of single mothers who are the men in their mom’s lives and to moms who are everything to their kids. Happy Father’s Day to men who are going to become dads for the first time and dads who'll raise their kids alone.  Do right by your kids and respect the women who made you fathers.

To my own beloved father, Bob Angel, I love you and miss you everyday. I want to call you and tell you what is going on and have you help guide me. I will never be too old to need you and I will never stop missing you. Your children love you and your grandchildren are perfect pieces of you to carry on your legacy and keep you close. We love you and are keeping the faith.