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Like Father, like (Step)Daughter

April 23, 2012

January 4th, 2012 10:20pm

My letter to my (step)father for Father’s Day 2011.

My step-father came into my life when I was about four or five. I don’t remember much about the details. How did I feel about him? Did I like him? Did I welcome him with open arms?

But I must have because I was smiling very brightly in all of the pictures of the past. I must have loved him very much, but maybe not as much as I do now. I find myself thinking about my parents a lot these days. I do not know why. Maybe it’s because I live in a different city for the most part of the year. Maybe it’s because I actually have time to miss them now.

I love my parents very much, and for different reasons. I love my step-father very much because he has shown me that love is unconditional. One need not be related to the other to love them unconditionally – you just love, and love, and love.

Sure, I have a biological father. But he is not my father. He was someone I used to see every other week; someone who would take me to Chuck’E’Cheese and call it a day. He was someone who used to take me to Toys’R’Us and let me pick out whatever doll that was the season’s new toy. But he was not and is not my father. My father is my step-father, and who shall be referred to as my father from now on.

It has been increasingly noticeable in the last year or so how similar I am to my father. My roommate, M, has pointed it out, and so has my mother. My mother calls me my father’s daughter, and calls my brother, my mother’s son. My brother is much too similar to my mom.

A couple of nights ago, I witnessed something truly wonderful that made me want to write this post. You see, my zipper on my parka had broken. My father was adamant on fixing it for me, so I let him. I sat there and watched him furrow his eyebrows this way and that, as he tried to figure out how to tackle the problem at hand. I watched him as he dug through his toolbox to find the appropriate one with which he used to work his magic. I watched him while he worked with such diligence, with such patience. Then, he fixed it. He smiled and smiled, and smiled some more when he saw how happy I was. That was when I realized that we are so similar.

Because if there is one thing that I love, it’s fixing things. I like to pride myself in being the “handy woman” of the house. I’m always fixing one thing or another: opening the window when it’s jammed, hanging heavy frames, and repairing a dropped stitch of a crocheted sweater. What’s more, seeing the smiles on others’ faces fills me with a sense of accomplishment. I love it and I pride myself in handling these problems with such patience. To witness the same in my dad made me feel incredibly happy and satisfied.

How did we get to be so similar? It definitely was not biological! Of course, he has been a big part of my life and has influenced me in so many of the right ways. Of course, I am somewhat similar to my mom. After all, I am my mother’s daughter. I like to say that I get all of my crazy traits from my mom. Like my OCD, and constant need for control over things, and constant worrying, and blah blah blah. I share many of the same… shall we say ideals(?) as my mother; we just share many of the same perspectives on things. But my other traits, my calmly traits, those I get from my father. My good nature, my sense for appeasing things, my sense of good fun, and desire for inner peace: these (and many more!) are things that he has taught me over the years. Like Father, like (step)daughter.

My father is such a remarkable person. My mother and I were so lucky to have had him waltz right into our lives and stay here. One day surely, he will part this earth and leave us. But this, I shall not think about now, for it will only crush my tiny frail heart.

I should count myself lucky if one day, I were to find a man who is half as great as my father.


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