Since Father’s Day is around the corner, I wanted to start off with wishing all of the great father’s out there a very Happy Father’s Day! Including the Ying to my Yang…my LB (little brother).  He continues to show me that there are good dudes out there.  I have come in contact with some awesome men and some awesome dads and just like Mother’s Day you don’t have to be a biological dad to get recognition. Uncles, bonus dad’s, hell even coaches of kids sports teams deserve recognition. There are many men that do not always play the part they should in their children’s lives, so it is important to give the ones deserving their credit. Salute to the Good Man singing in my Ne-yo voice!

Being someone that hasn’t always had the best example of fatherhood I still understand the importance of having a connection with a father figure. I can’t get on here and tell you that my experience was awesome; I didn’t know my biological father wasn’t the man who raised me until later on in life which left me with major trust issues that I have worked hard to work through. Sometimes there is still a dull ache that lingers from my past experiences and I have had to learn to navigate through life learning to appreciate the pain I have gone through knowing it has shaped me into the person I am today. There are men that I know that have never had a father figure and turned out to be awesome dads. There is also one man in particular I wish I could have seen become a father because I know he would have been the BEST. He was my son, a loving, caring, kind individual that left the earthly realm a bit too soon.

“The measure of a man is in the love he gives.” These are the words on his headstone.

My bonus child was taken to soon at the age of 18. One thing that I knew for sure was he was a good man. The type of man that gave his last few dollars to his wife the day he died to make sure she was taken care of. He was a loving, giving person and had a heart of gold. My son lived his life with no regrets, even at a young age. He always made sure the women in his life knew he loved them, including me. He never held grudges and was definitely the type you couldn’t stay mad at. One thing I admired about him was his ability to balance strength and sensitivity. Some men never find this lol. This balance makes people feel protected, seen and understood. I don’t know about anyone else but all these traits are a recipe for a good relationship. Being able to love you and love others equally enhances all relationships.

He was more of a man at 18 than most of the men I’ve seen in my lifetime. Although I wish I could experience him on a daily basis once again I know he will always be with me. He stands by my side when times get tough and I am sure his forever love makes every day a little better for me. This is what I think measures a man. The impact my son has left is lifelong. He will be remembered forever.

You don’t need to be the perfect dad, husband, son, etc. However, I believe real men think of others outside of themselves and their main priority is protecting and providing. What I have learned through this journey of understanding my walk with the men in my life, is how to extend grace to know there are great men out there even if I have not always had the best experiences. I strive to never miss opportunities of seeing the good in other’s and giving everyone their own fair shot. We are all different and shouldn’t be judged by other’s actions.   Be good to yourself, love yourself and don’t bring extra baggage on this trip we call life.