Growing up in a single-parent home hasn't been easy, or so I'm told.
All of my life those who tried to 'diagnose' me because it was my mother, and not my father who left, have nothing but confused me.
They've said things like, "It must've been hard without a mother," or "You need to forgive your mom for leaving." Or my favorite, "You come from a broken home."
I really didn't know what they meant. I had a great life.
My dad has always been there for me. He gave up his life for my brother and me and gave us everything we needed and almost everything we wanted.
In addition, my extended family is one that bands together in tough times, so a motherly figure I was not without. Instead of one mother, I had three aunts, a grandmother and two older female cousins to look up to, to learn how to apply make-up and learn how to dress. Even today I have daughter-mother chats with my aunt Kim, who is nothing but supportive of me.
But it was always a bit awkward in elementary school, when we were assigned to craft a Mother's Day gift for our mothers. Who would I make this for?
Ultimately my teachers suggested making the gift for my father. What an idea!
I can't thank him enough for being a part of my life, he's currently one of my best friends. He's never been the "bring the gavel down" sort of father. He truly was a father and a mother to me, because he had to be.
My favorite memory of my father growing up is the time he cut my hair. It was just a bang trim, since we didn't officially cut my very long hair until I was 8-years old. My grandmother advised him to place a piece of tape across my forehead, to ensure a straight cut. After a few attempts, and a few slanted lines across my forehead, he finally got it straight. The only problem for this five-year-old is it was the day before picture day at school, and the proof will forever haunt me as I walked into school with bangs that were not longer than 1-inch.
Horrified was an understatement. Picture day was the highlight of my primary school career, and this one was foiled.
This is my favorite memory, because it reminds me that my father was always willing to be whatever we needed him to be.