To honor the first man in my life today, let me first say, he was, is, and will always be, My Hero.
You see, my Dad was a career Navy man. He was in the Navy when he met and married my Mom, in 1958. And all through my young life I saw very little of him, because he was away at sea, serving his country. The time he got to spend at home was precious to us. My earliest memories are of us saying our prayers each night and asking God to protect our Daddy, all those onboard his ship, and bring them all safely home.
As I grew older, and got into the various scrapes that a teenaged daughter can and will get into, my Dad was right there every time to make it all right.
When I was heartbroken over a failed marriage, my Daddy was right there again, with arms wide. And he became a surrogate "Dad" as well as grandfather to my five children when their own father abandoned them.
My youngest daughter says she is changing her last name. So poignant is her decision. She no longer wants the last name she was born with, from a father who left her and her siblings when she was pre-school age. Instead, she wants a hyphenated name. My Daddy's last name, hyphenated with my husband's last name [her step-father], because she says those are her "real" father's.
Her declaration of this decision has hit me right here at Father's Day in such a powerful way.
We ARE who we are because of the blood that brought us here. We are "So & So" [last name - Smith, or Jones, etc.]
Yet we ARE who we are, because of those who raised us. Who instilled in us our more's, our reasoning, our thought processes, or moral fiber.
I thank God I was raised by a man, who although not there in body all the time, was ALWAYS there in spirit! Who spent time daily penning home letters of his love and regards for his wife and daughters. Who never once, not for an instant, turned his back on us. Who willingly took on the adoption of two little boys in need of a father and mother, when no one else would. Who later willing took on the assisting of raising not of two, but of five little children [mine] when their father walked away from his family. A man who has done without many, many times to provide for his family. A man who has bled and suffered for his family. A man who gave his youth and vigor for his country.
My hero. A true hero. My Dad.
Walter Beane - 1973
We are a culmination of not just our fathers. But of our forefathers as well.
Henry Condar Dreher, Jr.
My maternal grandfather.
John Monroe Bean, Sr.
My paternal grandfather.
Henry Condar Dreher, Sr.
My maternal great-grandfather.
William McHarvey Bean
My paternal great-grandfather