He didn’t have to be

Is there a song, that when you hear it, it speaks directly to you as being your personal song?

When Brad Paisley first came out with one of his first hit song, He didn’t had to be; I swear that song was about my step-dad and I. This is one of the picture of him and I in our house in North Fargo.

Before I get into my tribute to fathers and step-dad in this blog, here is a little sidebar. I was able to see Brad Paisley in concert when he opened up for Alan Jackson. It was Brad Paisley’s birthday also. I wasn’t working at the Fargo Dome at that time; so I bought the concert ticket. My seat was on the floor, just few rolls from the stage. To me, Brad Paisley gave a better performance than Alan Jackson.

Anyway, my step-dad been more of a dad to me than my real father ever was. He raised me from the time I was 5 years old when he married my mother.

Before he married my mother, he asked me if I wanted him for a dad. He may not had been the best dad; but he sure beats my real father, who left me when I was 2 years old. I had mixed feelings as any child would. Part of me was excited and part of me didn’t knew what to expect. So I went over to a neighbor on the corner until my mother noticed how quiet it was in the house and found that I wasn’t in my bed.

Shortly after my folks were married, they came to pick me up at the babysitter I was at. I ran outside to the car and trip. When I got inside the car, was the first time I called him daddy, when I asked him to kiss my owie.

He done more for me than my real father ever done. He taught me how to tie my shoes, zip my jacket, fish, etc. Even though I didn’t have his last name, I was still considered to be his son. I received an inheritance from him that I never gotten from my real father.

When he died, it was an honor to had been a pallbearer at his funeral; because he carried me from the time I was 5 years old. It was an honor to carried him to his grave along with my brothers and nephews.

There was time when the family took a trip out West, Washington State. We were over at my Aunt Rosella watching old family movies of the Heger’s family; when I happened to have gotten sick. So after I had thrown up, I went to lay down on a davenport. A little later, he picked me up and carried me upstairs to my cousin, Nels’s bedroom. I was 9 years old, not quite 10 at the time.

So you see, it was truly an honor to be a pallbearer for his funeral. I may not had been his biological son; but I was still his son. He was there for me the best he could. He was never close emotionally to any of us kids; but he was there physically for us. My real father was never there at all for me.

Being raised in a product like that can be damaging to kids if they don’t have role model to look after them and help them to grow to become the man we are. There are children from a single mother who may not had been as lucky as I was. It doesn’t matter if they are black or white either.

He may not had been the best dad but he raised me and I loved and missed him.

When I first heard Brad Paisley singing, “He didn’t have to be,” it was like the song was about me. One year, I even put that in writing for his Father’s Day card.

My folks made 40 years together. This year, if they were still alive, it would had been their 50th anniversary on July 3rd.

Before he died, I took it upon myself to make my mother’s famous baked beans for him when we came home for Christmas. Because I knew that he loved bake beans. My mother never wrote the recipe down; but I somehow was able to still make it for him.

As my mother would say, “Anyone can father a child, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Anyone can be a father; but a dad is someone very special. A dad is there for their kids as least physically.

So if you are not willing to man up and be a dad to your kids that you fathered; you might as well know there may be someone who will man up and be a dad to your flesh and blood, the fruit of your loin.

To anyone who is step-dad, if you are a dad and is there for them; you are more of a father to them. Especially if their real father isn’t around. Step-dads are to be honored on this day as well as fathers if not more in some cases.

It truly was an honor to call him dad and carried him to his grave beside my mother. He was more a dad to me than my real father. I may had forgiven my real father for not being there for me; but I will never forget what my step-dad did for me. To me, he was more of a dad than my real father.

Here’s to you dad! I love and thank you for all you had done for me, and all you had gave.

Happy Father’s Day not only to fathers out there, but also step-dad as well. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and manning up!