I don’t feel like writing much tonight.  Just want to let everyone know that my dad’s in the hospital in West Virginia….  From what I’ve heard, the doctor who tried to do a heart catheterization on him discovered that three of his arteries are completely blocked and the fourth, main artery is at least 90% blocked.  So they’re going to be performing quadruple bypass surgery on him Monday.

Me and Dad before heading to College Heights Baptist Church – December 1971

Dad’s always been one of the toughest, most invincible people I’ve known, as well as the most honest, hardworking, and committed to doing what he believes is right.  We don’t always see eye to eye on things, and we haven’t always had a lot in common.  But he has quite a few qualities I admire, and over the years I’ve come to have a great deal of respect for him.  You know the saying “Blood is thicker than water”?

Dad and me with our parakeet Popeye and my transistor radio – circa 1972

One of the most special things about my dad, though, is that he’s not my biological father.  He married my mom when I was about one and a half years old.  And even when their marriage didn’t work out, I was always his son, no matter what.  For a while as a young adult I became so set on finding “my real father” that I didn’t really appreciate the dad I had.  Well, I did find that guy.  But guess what: he wasn’t Dad.  You see, Dad chose to be a part of my life – through good times and bad.  My biological so-called father, on the other hand, chose not to be a part of my life.  Though Dad’s never been the most demonstrative person emotionally, his love has never failed. 

1990 – with my step-mom, Dad and brother at my first college graduation
A lot of dads love their flesh and blood children.  And that’s a wonderful thing.  But I feel I’m luckier than those children because my Dad chose to love me.  He didn’t have to – but he did.  Even when I overlooked him in search of another guy I thought was my dad….  Even though he had to find out about me working in a gay bar by opening his morning paper at work and seeing me on the front page….  Even though my imprisonment had to be a hard pill to swallow….  He’s never shied away from being Dad.

Dad and me too early in the morning (for me at least!) in October 2005

You know how he responded when I came home and expressed regret that my family had to endure the embarrassment of me being an ex-convict?  He looked at me in disbelief and said, “I’m not embarrassed.  You’re my son.”

And that, my friends, is thicker than blood.

Please remember Dad and our family in the coming week.  Peace….