My relationship with my biological father was somewhat unusual. He and my mom divorced in my teen years, and I can honestly say it didn't bother me that much. I was too busy with my own little world at the time, and frankly, don't remember much about any of it. I'm sure it was different for my two younger brothers, but for me, life went on as usual. My older sister may not have escaped unfazed, but that is her story to tell. Actually, looking back, maybe that explains my bad behavior in my late teens.
After high school, I did not go to college. That came much later for me, after completing a stint in the army. What I did was work for my Dad in his business truck shop. I learned a lot and had money to spend. The relationship with my father centered around the business as a boss/employee status. Upon completing my military service, I returned to the family business, working my way up to middle management. Over that period the relationship evolved to an owner-boss/key employee status. I called him by his first name just like the rest of the team, and we went out for happy hours and such as co-workers and friends. The unusual style of our connection never felt like father/son to me, but I am grateful and fortunate to have learned so much about the man. Certainly, he had flaws. He drank too much and was a known womanizer, but there was never any doubt that he loved his children, and would do anything he could to help them. I loved him too.
My step-father was a good man. When he and my mom married, he stepped into the role without complaint. Before my Dad died, he never interfered and took the proverbial step-father back seat. In the years that followed he became Dad, and did an excellent job of providing for my mom until her passing. Never having children of his own, he relished being Grandpa to my children and those of my siblings. He was the only grandfather they knew.
He felt like Dad to me, and you could always feel the love by his genuine warm excitement to see you, or hear from you by phone. I have so many great memories of him...fishing on his boat, camping trips, back yard BBQ's, holiday gatherings, and vacation trips to the lake. I did, and still do, think of him as Dad, and miss him terribly. I am certain he loved me and thought of me as his son. I loved him too.
So, Happy Father's Day gentlemen. To my two Dads; I raise my glass to toast your memory.