On Sunday, we will honor all the dads out there for Father’s Day. For many, the dad is overshadowed by mothers but plays such a key role in the growth and development of our children that they should never be forgotten.

For me, there are two dads that mean the world to me. One is my own father, who, in his own rough and tough manner, has taught me more in life than he will ever really know. The second is my husband, Jon, who took in a teenager and a young child, who were my relatives, after a family tragedy and has quickly became a true father to both girls.

When it comes to my own dad, the stories are endless. I was the only girl with three older brothers. Needless to say, I learned how to fight, learned how to tackle and play football, and rarely did the girly stuff.  I remember when I was about 25 years old I tore the meniscus disc in my knee blocking my dad on the line so my nephew could score a touchdown.

While there were plenty of injuries in our annual Thanksgiving and Fourth of July football games, I wouldn’t give the memories up for anything in the world because my dad was on the field  (backyard) for every single game.

Then, there’s one of my favorite memories of my rough, tough dad. After I became a teenager, I started showing interest in boys and my dad was less than thrilled. Needless to say, there was a misunderstanding and my dad jumped to conclusions. I was embarrassed, angry and swore I’d never talk to him again.

My dad doesn’t admit to being wrong often. In fact, when it came to knowing when one of us four was doing something wrong, he was usually on the money. However, he knew here he may have jumped to the wrong conclusion. After the silent treatment for several days, my dad walked through the front door with a love bird. It was bright yellow with a red face. To this day, it is one of my favorite stories about my dad who had his own way of apologizing.

My dad is a genuinely kind human being with a good heart and a willingness to help anyone in need at any time. I have never seen him turn someone in need away, which adds to the deep level of respect I have for him.

Now, on to Jon. As I said above, he took in two girls, adopted them with me and never looked back. The girls were 4 and 15 at the time. Now they are 7 and 18.

Both came from a tough background, and needless to say had a bad father. Recently, Tracy, our oldest, said she believes she only has one real father, and that is Jon.

Jon has taken a teenager who struggled to trust men and through being a real dad has made her look up to him, and has earned her trust and respect.

Jon’s connection with our younger daughter is even tighter. She knows only him as a dad, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the end, Jon didn’t have to be a dad, but chose to take on the difficult job without hesitation. He is definitely one of those dads who deserves a lot more credit than he is sometimes given.

And, with another child on the way, I know Jon will be a great dad to our son, and will also be extremely happy knowing that at least with a boy, he isn’t so outnumbered with all of us girls.

Submit stories about your father throughout the week by emailing tgrimes@explorernews.com, or posting them on The Explorer Newspaper Facebook page. The stories will be posted online through Father’s Day.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

Nice testimony and tribute to your father and your husband. My father also influenced me a great deal and always wanted the best for our family. He was hardworking, honest, respectful, and like most Irishmen, very opinionated. The Irish love to argue, especially about politics, and he did this with aplomb. He is still living, 94 years old, in Florida. He has a failing memory now, but can still talk and debate like always. Growing up, he tended to argue on behalf of the Democrats, while I tended toward either independent or Republican. Political debates were fun in a way, even when father and son are on opposite sides. We could laugh about these differences, then we would conclude our debates with the recognized fact that the world will go on despite what we had to say about it. My father is a good man.

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