My hero is the man who raised me.
A hero has compassion, strength, resources of some kind, serves others sacrificially, and hardly ever steps into the spotlight. My dad, (and I don’t mean that in the conventional way,) is my hero.
My biological father is a world class fuck up. Selfish. Manipulative. A stereotypical addict. My heart goes out to him, and I pray for him to experience grace and peace. He’s been absent for most of my life and seems to only come back into my life to fill his selfish desire to use me as a sideways source of pride. I’ve forgiven him for much for my own peace, however, I want nothing to do with him.
My dad, however, is my hero.
He and my mom (my biological mother’s sister) met on an international cruise in the 70’s. Three days after meeting, my mom said that they were going to marry, and they have been – for nearly 40 years. It took a lot of work, though.
For few years, he worked to tie up loose ends and was finally able to move from his small hometown in Italy to California to be with my mom.
A hero is strong. Sure, he’s physically strong and capable. I use to watch in awe as a kid when he would pick up logs on his shoulder and throw them on the truck bed that would later become our source of heat. But he’s emotionally strong. The compassion he has for others is a weakness that is his source of strength and service. When I’ve been broken, I witnessed the silent anger rage inside of him, an absolute and fervent disdain for whatever it was inside me that I allowed to hurt me. I saw the tears well in my hero’s eyes; he wouldn’t dignify my demons by wiping away the shame. My hero picked me up with his words, “Sean, you’ve always been more than enough.”
For his entire life, he’s sacrificed to provide service and comfort to those he loves. At the age of six, he was sent to neighboring farms to work and help provide for his family. And today, almost 71 years old, he continues to work so that my mom doesn’t have to work more and is comfortable. He wants not, except love. He has taught me that in freely giving, you receive so much more.
My mom and dad are actually my aunt and uncle. They have three kids of their own, and have graciously taken care of me for most of my life, and when I was 12 became my permanent guardians. My mom recently shared with me a conversation they had. She asked him what he thought about adopting me, and he replied, “Well, he’s always been ours.” I’m 32 years old, and my parents just filed for adoption on February 5, 2016.
Soon I will finally have the name that was always meant for me.
My dad is my hero for many reasons, one of which is because he chooses me.