Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a difficult time for some. If a person is facing either highly-hyped holiday without a parent or parents it can be a very emotional time. I’ve always thought it was wrong to honor a specific parent on a special day.
Across this country, there are millions of single parents who, due to death or divorce, are raising their kids by themselves. Single Moms and Dads work twice as hard and, sadly, get half the credit they deserve. My mother was a single Mom. Because of personal and emotional problems, she was unable to do that much as a parent. Luckily, my Uncle Ed, a lifelong confirmed bachelor, moved in with us and took over the parenting tasks. He was brilliant and kind of nuts but always had a good moral compass, which still guides me at age 66.
This Father’s Day, I honor single Moms. The hard work and dedication they have to show every day is a real testimonial to the human spirit. It must be very difficult to hold down a full-time job (or maybe 2 or 3) and effectively raise a child in today’s world. While I’m sure Hallmark is licking its chops over the prospect of a new holiday called “Single Parent’s Day,” the efforts of single parents should be applauded and honored 24/7, 365.
I have known many single Moms in my life. They all share a common trait – the desire to do what it takes to raise great children. Most juggle careers, sporting events and school activities and still try to have some time for themselves. I have known quite a few who have completely abandoned their personal lives to make a living and raise their children. By the time they reenter the social and dating pool, many are well over 50.
Why so many Single Moms? A lot of reasons but most notably selfish and narcissistic men. I have known many of them as well. It’s all fun and games for them. They have sex, impregnate their spouses and enjoy the fun and excitement of the first couple of years of fatherhood. Then the glow begins to fade when the child begins school. Many times the child has medical problems. That’s usually when true cowards abandon the marriage. I like to think there’s a special place in Hell for those losers.
Sometimes the man is attracted to a younger woman. Hey, no children, no responsibilities or problems. The few hours he spends with them each week remind him of the carefree relationship he had with his wife before they were married. If he leaves his wife and marries this new woman he soon finds out that this relationship will become as “boring” as his previous marriage. And the cycle may repeat itself again and again.
Some married men string their new relationship along for years. My mother was in a relationship with the same married man for 23 years. He kept telling her he didn’t want to lose half his money in a divorce so he strung her along for over 2 decades. Yes, she bought his line of bullshit. She even regularly tried to talk to me about my homosexuality. The guy used to regularly call me “fag” because I didn’t like sports or fast cars and I was reading or playing the guitar and harmonica most of the time. He convinced her I was gay.
Since her role as a parent was minimal, I have few good memories of my Mother. In college I was making pretty good money doing puppet shows so I could take her to things her boyfriend would say he couldn’t afford. I took her to see Sinatra when he made his comeback at Madison Square Garden back in the 1970’s (The Main Event).
I was also able to take her and her boyfriend to see Debbie Reynolds, also back in the early 1970’s, when she appeared at the old Latin Casino in New Jersey. At that concert, I bribed the Maître d $100 to get us better seats. For that kind of dough in the 1970’s, he seated us right against the stage. Debbie toured with her daughters back then, including a young Carrie Fisher. Debbie even chose me from the audience to sing a duet with her, which she said she remembered when I met her again in Las Vegas back in the 1990’s. The duet went great and my Mom’s boyfriend remarked he wasn’t a bit surprised a “fag” like me could sing. I have never been gay, but since I had so many friends who were his insults never bothered me.
Why did she buy into his line of nonsense for so long? Men are great liars, just ask me. There’s not one of us, myself included, who didn’t overtly lie to get what we wanted from a woman (or man) at one time or another. It’s one of those “hunter/gatherer” skills that must be ingrained in our DNA. My mother finally dumped the married guy a few years before she passed. I hear he didn’t end well, but shit happens.
Lying men and my own Mother’s shortcomings aside, single Moms and Dads should be praised. On this Father’s Day, I will take some time to honor my wife Rosanne. She did it all!
Rosanne got Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was pregnant with her daughter back in 1980. It was the pregnancy that caused the disease. Because of it, she has endured 2 hip replacements, 3 knee replacements (1 had to be replaced after 15 years) several hand, wrist and elbow operations and a full ankle replacement.
Right after her daughter was born, her husband left her. Usual story, no regular child support. Rosanne worked 3 jobs, went to college and raised her daughter. It took her 8 years but she finally got a degree in design. Sadly, after supporting her daughter through her early 20’s, the young woman totally shunned her mother. I know this happens all-too-often with mothers and daughters, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take.
I hope in my heart of hearts that Rosanne’s daughter realizes how important her mother is and comes back to her. This may never happen and Rosanne is heartbroken about it and has been since the “consider me dead to you” letter.
Rosanne’s accomplishments were amazing. Her daughter turned out to be a fine young woman despite all the current hassles. Perhaps all the years of her positive upbringing and seeing how hard her Mother worked to put a roof over her head will make her realize how important Rosanne was and is to her. I pray for it every day.
God bless all the single Moms and Dads on this Father’s Day. Thank you all for your love and dedication. May you all be honored to the degree you deserve!
(The photo is my Mother, Brother and me back in 1976)
© 2017 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and reposted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.