Recently actor Terry Crews commented that fathers are responsible for giving their children a name, their story, and their security. He was basically stating the importance of a father in their child's life and not the insignificance of the mother in that child's life.
I was raised by both of my parents, something I never gave much thought to until my children's father and I divorced. Even though my mother was beyond amazing, I don't know if I would be the same person without having had the love, correction, and guidance of both of my parents. Let me explain by pointing out how I became who I am because of my mother and father.
Joe Gibson (my father) was a hard-working, no nonsense kind of man. Standing well over six feet tall with big hands, huge feet, and a neatly trimmed mustache, he was always a giant to me. Here's a brief overview of my father.
When it came to education my father never made a big fuss about our grades, but he made it clear that we were expected to do our best. No slacking. When my oldest sister and I were old enough to get summer jobs my father never allowed us to work at the factory where he worked. He wanted us to get an education beyond high school and wanted us to have professional careers. He also made it very clear that the being teenage or unwed mothers with a "house full of kids" was something he did not want for his daughters. In fact, when I told my parents that I was expecting my third child, my father pulled me aside and said he hoped I wasn't going to have a house full of kids. Keep in mind, I was almost thirty years old, married, and not living in their house!
Now most folks may feel as if my father had no say in the number of children I would bring into this world, however, I believe to this day he knew something about the state of my marriage that I couldn't or wouldn't see at the time - its eventual demise.
My father gave me a male perspective on life that my mother couldn't. If there was a guy interested in me or my sisters, my father was interested in him. He didn't tolerate loud or rude women and his expectation was that we act like a lady in and out of his presence. A real man who was about something would want that too.
I must also give my father credit for instilling in me the importance of family. He took care of us by going to work every day (he had perfect attendance for over ten years on his job), correcting us when we were wrong, and providing for his family. But it wasn't always about how my father treated us. His relationship with my mother was something else which helped to shape my opinions.
When my mother became ill and was undergoing chemotherapy, my father showed me in action the true meaning of "through sickness and health". When my mother eventually passed away he showed me a real man expresses hurt, sheds tears, and suffers loss while at the same time still standing strong as a man.
So I have to agree with Terry Crews. Fathers are very important. My father gave me my name. I'm not just Alicia Wiggins. I'm Joe Gibson's daughter.
His story is one that even my children own, and hopefully their children too. And my security? As a child I would pretend to fall asleep on the sofa just so my daddy would pick me up and carry me to bed. It was the security and strength I found in his arms then that still carries me to this day.
My dad passed away several years ago, but I would not be the woman I am today without his presence in my life. This is not about being a daddy's girl. It's all about being a girl with a real daddy.