Some people are fathered more by friends, mentors, and alternate family members. My mom is my mother and so much more. She is the ultimate source of love, safety, femininity, and strength in my life. She provided Mom and Dad energy as far back as I can remember. She was our provider, protector, decider, and disciplinarian. My mother encapsulates who I am today and the better version I'm always becoming. Special shout out to her fiancé, George, who makes her really, really happy. :)
My dad, especially these days, really champions me and wants to be my friend. He didn't father us in a traditional sense but he never stood in the way of who we truly were. I'm only beginning to understand his insecurities about communicating in English (even though he never tried to teach us any Tagalog) and his journey through music and international travel to a humble Canadian existence, playing covers and DJ sets at pubs in hotels and malls, charming college kids, conservative businessmen, and oil rig workers alike. My dad paid for my diapers and school fees with songs (!). He supported our healthy lifestyle, diverse musical education, creative expression, and spice tolerance. 2020 has changed my relationship with my dad-- we've found a way to detach from our past, our failures, and our miscommunications and stay focused on our commonalities. It's not perfect but I like it anyway. He has a big heart.
My grandfather was a stubborn, hard man with a gooey, sweet centre. He hunted and fished and woodworked and fixed everything. He was an excellent protector and a true appreciator. He really loved my grandma, and by extension, the family she created. Manly types freaked me out when I was little, and I thought we had nothing in common, until I started appreciating his humor, and he started crying at my dance recitals. Grandpa was a helper, through and through. He would build or fix anything, drive any distance, plan any home project, and fulfill the demand of any workload, with a chuckle and a well worn one-liner. He was a good man, although he played the 'cranky old fart' role consistently, he just wanted everyone to be happy and cared for.
My brother is the longest and kindest source of male energy in my life. Endlessly dedicated and even keel, reflective, hilarious, capable; he learned to be a good man mostly through our Mom and is unashamed of the fact. He is a beacon of acceptance and wisdom and I trust him with my whole heart. The first big lesson he taught me was forgiveness--I picked on him for over a decade and when he outgrew me there was no desire to return the favor, just love and acceptance and a desire to pave his path his way. Bro, thank you.
Shane is a good father waiting to happen. He is a provider, a nurturer, a deep appreciator, a protector of hearts. He is capable beyond human reason, but his intentions are unconditionally sweet, and playful, and joyous. To witness him flourish and carve out his dreams, especially these past two years, is not something easily put into words. It's like if you were running through an endless maze with someone, and one day something just clicks, and instead of running you're taking it an an easier pace, taking in all the beauty around you with a deep breath, and instead of worrying about the next phase of the journey, you're watching in amazement as all these doors pop up with utterly perfect timing, and this person keeps pulling the key that fits the door out from their pocket--they've been carrying these keys around, serendipitously, and now you get to journey with them through each new door in wonder and laughter and awe.
Many men and women have given me fatherly lessons in my life. But the detailed list is for another day. Right now, Shane is making curry, and Simon bought a bottle of scotch for a toast to their fathers who have passed on, and I am full with love for this life I get to live, so I'll be spending the rest of the evening living it. :) Happy Fathers Day.
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