Dad is not something that really resonates with me - I have never had a consistent one in my life.
Dad #1 - my mom and he married when they were young. They had my brother and then me. He was in the air force as part of the Search and Rescue Squadron. From what I understand this is one of the most difficult squadrons to get into - the trials eliminate over 80% of those who apply. He loved his job. He loved jumping out of airplanes and saving people. While on a rescue in November of 1971 the plane he was on went down and killed all 7 members of the unit he was with. It is one of 2 fatal accidents in the entire history of the squadron. I was only 18 months old. I never really knew him. This event really affected my brother.
Dad #2 - When I was 4 my mom re-married to another air force man. We trasferred from Comox to Germany. The Germany stint was supposed to be 4 years and he only lasted 14 months. He left the service, moved to Saskatoon, SK and joined the city police force. He viewed his kids and his pets about the same. They should be there to perform tricks to show how amazing he was. When I was 15, and on my mom's birthday, he left blaming my brother for not shovelling the sidewalk. It was a very odd day. His leaving was the best thing that ever could have happened. He arranged visitations with the dog, not us. This gave me some really identity crisis times over never knowing Dad #1 and a lot of emo poetry was composed in this phase. He and I have never really kept in touch. He met my daughter once when she was less than a year old and had never met my son. I put as much effort into the relationship as he does.
Dad #3 - after many years alone and my mom settling into her own stride she met the love of her life. He was much older than her but made her happy like nothing I have ever seen. He was my kids true grandpa, he loved those kids like nothing I had ever seen. The day he fell and broke his hip was the day his life changed forever. His seemingly ageless self changed into an old man almost over night. He could not regain his health. My mom stayed by his side every step of the way and when it was finally time for pallitive care she moved him home and did it all. He died one year on father's day. I miss him.
Dad #4 - my mom now has a new partner. Her grieving over Dad #3 was long and deep. I figured she would never recover from it. Then she reunited with a childhoold friend who had never married. They have their own houses, their own lives. They travel south in the winter, they are wonderful companions. He is cheerful and respectful and community minded and lovely. I think that he is a great and lovely soul.
Bonus Dad - My Father In Law. This is a man, who in his younger days, was hysterical. I could hang out with him and bullshit all day long. He has a gruff exterior and says the most inapproriate things because he has never adjusted his language as terms and things have moved on. His wife went a little nutty a few years ago and after 45 years of marriage moved out of the house while he was in the hospital. He moved in with us almost 2 years ago. Now he is a frail and depressed person. He is slowly killing himself by not taking care of himself and his health conditions - of which there are many. When you try to help him he gets mad. Yesterday he fell while at the pool and is now in the hospital with severe soft tissue damage and he can't even get out of bed or move his right arm. I am not sure how I feel about this. I want him to live closer but in the house is killing our family. Hopefully this will be a wake up call or a catalyst to assisted living of some kind. We will find out.