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I’ve always been impressed by my father’s consistent patience and optimism. Even in the darkest of situations, he would portray optimism among his frustrations. I also consider myself very lucky to have a good dad, as I know many people are not that lucky–including my father himself. 

My grandpa was the stereotypical distant, absent father and did not play much of a role in raising my dad. By the time my father was a young teenager, his parents were divorced and his father was no longer living with them. 

By all means, it would make sense if my dad followed the same pattern of being an emotionally distant father. But he didn’t. When I cried or was in distress, he comforted me. When I asked for help, he provided it for me. When I was sad, he cheered me up. When I wanted to play, he was there to do so. Honestly, I’m not sure how he didn’t repeat the pattern, but he didn’t. I consider myself lucky that I am able to have a good relationship with him.

My grandfathers both died before I was old enough to remember them. I always wanted a grandfather, and was sad I never had that chance. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something I always wished. When I was in my early 20’s, I met a man who, like my dad, had consistent patience and optimism that I always admired. He was in his 70’s, and we soon became good friends. I remember one day I jokingly asked him if he would be my grandpa; but when he sincerely replied, “Of course I can be your grandpa,” I was shockingly touched. It wasn’t much, but the gesture meant a lot. 

Men and fathers play a valuable role in our lives, but even if we did not have a good father ourselves, it doesn’t mean that we will repeat the pattern of the toxic person before us. 

God, our Heavenly Father, is also always there for us. Regardless of our relationship with the men in our lives, we can always turn to Him and focus on improving our relationship with Him.