Happy Father’s Day!
I am a woman of many fathers. Here’s my tale, may it touch your heart and help you treasure the fathers in your own life.
I grew up in Queens, New York City and was adopted and raised by a middle-class Jewish family. What I remember most about my Dad was that he was a wiseguy. A character. A total joker. He would kibbutz about anything and everything.
Dad was the playful kind of teaser, not mean, but he’d zoog you if he could and loved to perplex me with riddles like “Is it quicker to New York, or by bus?”
“Dad! I can’t answer that! There is not enough information! By bus from where?”
“Is it quicker to New York, or by bus?”
“C’mon, Dad, quit asking me that?”
“IS it quicker to New York, or by bus?”
Eventually if I would poke him in the ribs or roll my eyes “loudly” enough, he’d laugh and quit pestering me!
He also loved to make up crazy words. Like “Lamatacha” and “Kochtecho” and my personal favorite “Chatchkibubbie.” Have fun trying to pronounce those! They were all-purpose words to be sprinkled into any conversation for spice, as in, “Where did I put my lamatacha?” or “He is a real kochtecho.”
Growing up with these on top of the Actual Yiddish my grandmother spoke with her colorful gems like “shmuck (an idiot),” “schlemiel (a really STUPID idiot),” “meshuggeh (lunatic),” and descriptive words that, in English, would require a LOT of words, e.g. “mittenderrin” (right smack dab in the middle of everything) and of course standbys like “schlep” (oh, come on, you know that one, don’t be a schmuck)…All this made for a linguistically lively upbringing!
I also remember my Dad teaching me to ride a bike and drive a car. He was a relaxed driver, you know, the guy with the window open and his arm hanging out it in any season. He never drove faster than the speed limit, cut people off or tailgated. Come to think of it, he never even got stressed! This was New York, mind you, where there are a LOT of messhuggeh drivers. My dad would just stay relaxed and make a comment like “That shmuck is just racing to his own funeral.”
My mom was of the “Animals are filthy and cause allergies” ilk so this Nature Girl had a huge hole in her heart, constantly begging for a puppy or a horse (I swear, if we just put it in the garage, I’ll take SUCH good care of it, you’ll never even know it’s there!)…But now and then my dad, who did love animals, would convince my mom to let me have some sort of critter, even if it was “just” a turtle (I confess, his name was Myrtle) or those Sea Monkey brine shrimp from a packet.
We actually managed to convince Mom to let us have FISH. Lovely, rainbow-colored, shiny, tropical aquarium fish. This was another way Dad and I bonded, going to the fish store to buy new fish, even cleaning the tank was fun because we did it together.
I wasn’t the “touchy feely” type, nowadays I think this was because I didn’t come into this body being very embodied. An upper chakra person, and EXTREME book worm (I would read 10 books a week at the age of 7), I wasn’t inclined to give/receive many hugs. My mom would take this personally, why doesn’t she want to hug me? But my dad would stand up for me and say, “She’s just not a hugger. But she loves us just the same.”
My parents divorced when I was just 11. Dad moved to Joisey (New Jersey) and he would drive 90 minutes each way almost every Sunday to spend time with me. We’d go bowling (man, could that man bowl!), go out for bagels or pastrami sandwiches and GIANT sour pickles (I could work one of those pickles for over an hour), see a movie (we liked all those horrific disaster films in the ‘70s like Jaws and Earthquake – in SensaroundTM!…And Pink Panther flicks and James Bonds)…Or –special event!!! – a couple of times a year, he’d take me horseback riding.
Those were special memories I will treasure forever, and that’s no joke.
Sadly, in the last 10 years of my Dad’s life, we had a falling out due to the fact that he disliked my fiancé (soon to be my first, now ex, husband) immensely. My Dad actually insulted my husband publicly, at Thanksgiving (called him a “shmuck” and called us both “losers”) and this hurt. I called my Dad on this, wrote him a long letter, thanking him for all the good times and also let him know that he doesn’t have to like my husband-to-be, but he does have to speak to us civilly.
There was a period of several years when I had to cut my Dad out of my life because he continued to be toxic. Years later, we did mend fences to some degree, but we never regained the closeness we had when I was a girl.
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” – Anne Sexton
So, Dad, you have been gone now for over a decade. Thank you for being the first father in my life. Thanks for the laughs. The horseback rides. For the bagels and pickles. And….here’s a hug! I love you, Dad.
The next father in my life was my stepfather, Artie. When I was 17, my mom started dating him and soon he moved in.
Artie and I had a difficult relationship. OK, that’s putting it too mildly. That man hated me! He picked on me mercilessly, spoke to me with a mean tone in his voice no matter what I did or said. He argued with EVERYTHING I said.
This was really bizarre as I had never done anything to hurt him or disrespect him in any way. My mother didn’t know what to make of it, either, she would tell him to talk to me more nicely but between you and me, I could not WAIT to move out of that house once Artie moved in.
This undercurrent of insulting me and meanness went on for many years, even long after I’d moved out on my own. Actually, I was one of those twentysomethings who had to move BACK into my parent’s house so at age 22, after several years in engineering school at SUNY Buffalo, I moved back in with Mom and Artie to work and save money for college to put myself through school. I wasn’t getting anywhere savingwise at the measly jobs a 20-year-old could get while having to pay rent, so back I moved to our tiny Queens apartment. That was hard, being around this mean stepfather for another 6 months. I just tried to stay away from him.
Years passed. I graduated. Moved to California.
After I went through a huge spiritual awakening, I began to send Love and Light to Artie’s heart, from God, and from my own heart. I practiced lovingkindness and forgiveness with his Highest Self.
I prayed to my angels and guides and asked them to heal the space between me and Artie, to adjust energetically whatever needed shifting so we could have harmony in this lifetime to the greatest degree possible.
After about 8 years of my sending Love and Light to Artie in this way, from a safe distance, suddenly out the blue, I got a phone call.
It was Artie!
“Can we talk?”
“Uh….sure.” (what in the world??? I was wondering…)
“As you may know, tomorrow I am going into the hospital for an operation and this made me think, I may not come out of this alive. I was looking back on my life and the thing that kept coming to me was, why have I been so mean to you?” He paused. I gulped.
“I am calling today to apologize to you. I don’t know what happened to me, sweetheart, but something changed inside of me and I can see who you are now! You are a sweet, beautiful young lady and I was mean to you for no reason. I am so sorry! Can you ever forgive me?”
Floodgates of tears opened for us both. Of course, I forgave him and then, when we could speak again, I said, “Artie, I have a confession to make.”
“You do? What is it, sweetheart?” (there he went again, calling ME sweetheart!)
“You know all those years, when you were being mean to me?”
“Well, I was praying for you. For us. And I was sending Love and Light to you. Straight to your heart!”
Artie actually laughed then. I was wondering why then he said, “I know! I felt it. And it really PISSED ME OFF!!!….(laughing) But you know what? It worked.”
Artie survived the brain surgery operation the next day and lived several more years. During that time, he and I were extremely close.
And – we realized shortly after our healing miracle that day, was WHY Artie had hated me.
Artie had had one daughter named Robin. Like me, she had long dark hair and was tall. She worked in Manhattan as a waitress while training to be an actress. She was in her 20s and had just started getting some off-Broadway parts, when tragedy struck.
One day, she was riding her bicycle to the delicatessen where she waited tables, and she was riding in the bike lane, doing all the right things. There was a bus next to her, and the bus driver had forgotten to wear his glasses that day. That bus driver killed this bright young light named Robin and in a gruesome way. Not only did the bus run right over her without the driver even noticing, he continued to drag her young body for several blocks.
Robin had been killed just 18 months before Artie met my mother.
And whenever he looked at me, in his deepest heart he felt “You are not Robin! This is WRONG! Why did God take Robin from me and give me you instead?” And his heart’s scab was scraped raw and he was in agony and projected his pain and anger and loss onto me.
When we realized this, we both had a huge catharsis and relief.
Artie used to love to wear safari-style vests, you know, the ones with lots of pockets. In our years of being close, I often wrote him little love notes. When he was preparing to cross over, he told my Mom he wanted to be buried with my love note that just said “I ª YOU!” – in the vest pocket closest to his heart.
I love you, Artie.
I told you that I was adopted, right?
When I was 21, my birthmother found me. That whole search, reunion and our relationship since then is a magnificent story in itself, but today I am writing about my FATHERS so what I want you to know is that when I was 25, during the time period when my Dad and I were not speaking to each other, I decided to find my birthfather.
To fill in the father wound hole in my own heart.
My birthmom, Joyce, helped me find him. At first, we had quite a runaround trying to find Mike Moloney (my birthdad). Initially, my birthmom called the college where they had met and fell in love and told the truth: “I am trying to reach Michael Moloney, he was a student here with me in year X.”
The clerk at the college happily said, “Just a moment, ah, yes, I pulled up his information. Do you have a pen? Of course, this address is many years old, but I can give it to you and you can try.”
Then Joyce got so excited, exclaiming, “Oh, that’s great! I’m so glad we’ll be able to write him because we had a baby together! And I found our daughter and she is soooo wonderful and she wants to just write a letter to her father. Thank you so much!”
“Sorry, ma’am, but student information is confidential.” Click.
We figure the clerk was concerned about the sensitivity, maybe I was a gold-digger wanting to sue or there was a paternity case, who knew? That well ran dry.
So Joyce came up with another idea. When the truth doesn’t work, sometimes we need a Little White Lie for a Higher Purpose, right? And when you can’t go straight, you find a way around, yes?
I called the university and said I was a former student of Professor Raymond Moloney’s and wanted to write him a thank-you note for the difference he’d made in my life. (Brilliant!)
Well, this clerk LOVED that idea, of course and promptly I was given, not my birthdad’s address, but HIS father’s. My grandfather’s.
I wrote a heartfelt letter to Mike, enclosed it in a sealed envelope and mailed it with a brief cover letter to Ray, my grandfather, just saying, “Can you please forward this to Mike? He will consider it good news. Thanks!”
I was sure to assure Mike that I was not asking for any kind of money, I just so enjoyed knowing Joyce, I would love to get to know him, too, maybe find out about my ancestry and health history, and just see how we are guided to connect if mutually desired.
Surprisingly soon after sending the letter, I got a phone call. A woman with a heavy, unidentifiable accent was on the line saying “This is Regina! WE got your letter! Your daddy will be so glad to talk to you!” She went on and on and I was wondering, who is this person? And why is SHE calling me, not he? Finally I figured out that Mike had not actually COME HOME YET!
Regina, his wife, had opened and read the letter and called me – all before Mike even had an inkling about any of this.
“We have been praying for you all these years! He loves you! We light a candle for you every night!” She is exploding with excitement into my ear.
I heard a door close and she gushes, “Ooooooh!!! He’s home!!!!”
I said, “You know, Regina, why don’t we get OFF the phone now so you can give him a chance to read the letter. He can call me when he is ready, ok?”
“Oh, no! Don’t go away! He wants to talk to you! I know he does, just a moment!”
(I hear excited words in background)
“Regina, Regina, just have him call me, he needs time to process all this, ok? I’m hanging up!”
I hang up. Wow, what a soap opera. Just 2 minutes later the phone rings. It’s Mike.
He is indeed unbelievably ecstatic that I found him! We talk about who we are, our lives for a few minutes, then suddenly, his tone changes to being totally overwrought with emotion, voice quavering as he says:
“Listen, I have to tell you something. I ….have to warn you about something.”
Holy shit. All sorts of horrific fears float through my head, what did I get myself into???
Mike bursts, “I have been saving up love for you for 25 years and it’s all about to explode all over you! CAN YOU HANDLE IT!????”
I did not have the privilege of growing up with this good man but we have been blessed to know each other now for 22 years. In just 3 more years, we will have known each other as long as our years apart.
And I have met the entire Moloney clan. About 10 years ago, my (keeper) husband and I drove up to Washington state for a family reunion there, with our 2-year-old son in tow. Mike and I got up on the stage and told our story to 70 Moloneys. There was not a dry eye in the house.
Like my Dad who raised me, Mike is also a joker. He doesn’t tease, though, he tells cheesy jokes. Sends me things that make me laugh in my email. He and my husband have contests, who can tell the most – or the WORST – puns?
It has been a great blessing to know Mike and to get to know some of the rest of the family as well, including 2 brothers, a sister, 2 aunts, I even got to meet Grandpapa Ray and Grandma Pat (Gigi) before they passed.
I am particularly connected to one of Mike’s sisters, who is a medicinewoman, yoga teacher, Aunt Charlotte and I are total soul sisters! When we first met, at the family reunion, she and I both had long brown hair, were wearing Mexican ponchos with drums slung over our shoulders…And we both had purple pens! It was like looking at a slightly older me. Like a mirror!
Aunt Charlotte is the one who discovered that we are part Tewa Indian, and I’ve loved learning that I am mostly Irish and a bit Spanish on that side as well. (No wonder I can’t get enough spicy food and I love salsa! Both kinds. Dance and dip!)
From my birthfather, I received, in addition to a marvelous joie d’vie, the entrepreneurial spirit. An old family saying in this clan of business owners from many generations back is “There’s MONEY in Moloney!” Big dreamers. Risk takers. Hard workers. That’s us.
There’s also a pulse of social justice in our veins. I love that Mike was one of the white civil rights activists getting arrested in the South in the 60s. I love that he went into the Peace Corps. I love that he cares, not only about me, but about the world.
So, yes, I am still receiving the love from those lost 25 years. Mike and his new wife, Joanne, drove out to stay with us for the first time last summer and it was wonderful for our kids to get to know their other grandparents. Mutual adoration abounds!
So to Mike, my loving, laughing, birthfather, I say:
Thank you! I am so glad I found you! And keep gushing, I gush back!
And of course, the most important father in my life today is my husband.
When I first MANifested him, I had to overcome the big fear of being wrong AGAIN. Please God, I prayed one day, while driving in the car just weeks after finding my true Twin Flame soulmate, please, please give me a SIGN! Is he the right one or no?
I was told to turn on the radio. Change the station. Change, change, STOP!
“Can’t find a better man! Can’t find a better man!”
God spoke to me in that moment through Pearl Jam and indeed, I know without any doubt that Mark is a rare and precious gem, that there is NO better man in the world for me and for our children. I thank God for him every single moment. Every breath is a thank you to Heaven!
My children could not have a better father because they know they are loved. My children are being treasured and supported, nurtured and nourished Body Mind, Heart and Soul. My husband shows them the world with a positive attitude and spirit of adventure.
I know there is no better man in this world to raise children with and to enjoy life with! My husband is a loving and wise teacher for us all. (Of course we are all each other’s teachers as well as students!)
He’s also my kids’ playmate! Swashbuckling, tickle festivals, making music together, my kids never have to beg their Dad to play ANYTHING with them. (In fact, as I type this, he is playing chess with our oldest son.)
There is a Native American image and story. When the mother is at the top of the mountain with the child, she holds the child close to her, facing her body, for safety and love. When the father holds the child, he holds the child up and turns them to face outward. To the world.
We are all shaped, both by nature and nurture, by the fathers and men in our lives. Take a moment today, to honor your fathers and the sacred masculine energy within us all. When used with love, male power is compassion in action.
So to all my fathers, your fathers, to all fathers everywhere, I say:
Thank you. I love you! May you be blessed a hundredfold for all you have given us.
As Barack Obama said, “What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”
I leave you today with some more great quotes on fatherhood.
If you’ve appreciated something in this article, or would like to share about your own father, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy!
POSITIVE QUOTES ON FATHERHOOD:
“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”
– Sigmund Freud
“Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.” – Bill Cosby
“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” – William Shakespeare
“The greatest thing a father can do for his children, is to love their mother.”
– Anjaneth Garcia Uptalan
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me.”
- Jim Valvano
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SAGE passionately empowers Lightworkers to love themselves, their soulmate, life & Spirit, make more money – and more of a difference while doing the creative work they love.
SAGE, a.k.a. The Prosperous Goddess, is a 6-figure Intuitive Abundance Hypnocoach, Archangel Michael channel, shamanic soul & Reiki Omnidimensional healer, teacher, author and catalyst for personal and planetary transformation. SAGE is the Midlife Midwife to Your Soul’s Rebirth!
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Bright blessings and blissings to you and all you love!