Today is father's day.
For many, this is a wonderful day in which they celebrate the father figures in their lives -- past or present. Some get to spend it with their dads, others have step parents that filled in the gap where their birth parent opted to step back and live a life separate from the family they thought they wanted.
And still others? They are like me. Their father is there -- sort of -- and loved dearly (or for some, maybe not). But the truth is that they are indeed still missing. While I love my own dad, I only know him because I am very much like him -- outspoken, a lover of language and a capacity for knowledge that boarders on frightening. He and I share the passionate desire for conversation only later to shun the spoken word in exchange for written language found in books; savoring this time all alone.
I am blessed to have two constant father figures that have been part of my life for several years -- one who was my pediatrician during the most turbulent of my past eating disorder behaviors, and the other is a mentor of mine who fell into my life by accident. Without these two men, I would have no clue of the importance of a male figure in a child's life.
I wouldn't know what a hero was.
Father's Day can be seen as a day of appreciation for the heroes in one's life for still others who have had absolutely no one to look up to in their whole lives that resembled a father figure. And today I want to share with you the quiet heroes in my life.
When I was diagnosed with the very beginning of my health problems in childhood, the only thing I expected was to live a life that wasn't as fulfilling as that of my friends. I later came to discover that because those in my life didn't understand what is was like to have a chronic illness, it wasn't as noticeable when I wasn't around. After awhile, many never even noticed my attendance or absence from school and extracurricular activities.
And before long...I stopped being invited to social functions. It seems that my presence just wasn't altogether very remarkable.
When I was 18 I was placed in a children's home. Most there were in the foster system, and at the time I lived there I roomed with one truant, the only kid there whose parents were paying for her to be there as they worked through their own burden's first alone, and later together.
This organization is called Coyote Hill Children's Home