Yesterday was Father’s Day, and I hope everyone had a good one. Normally, my father’s days sucks – I usually hate Fathers Day because the man i am supposed to honor that day has never seen or met me face to face. That’s a good thing, though – If even half of what I’ve heard is true, I would be forced to kill him if we met anyways. (Don’t worry: that’s only how I feel, not how I’ll act – reality is, I’ll never speak to him, even if we do meet.)
Yesterday was really good, however, and it started after thinking about some of the people who were involved in my life. I will be breaking my own rules because I want these men to know that they stood in a place for me where the person who was supposed to be there did not – and that I really do appreciate them for that.
Denmond Blomquist is my grandfather on my mother’s side. When I was in fifth grade, My sister – who was in second at the time – and I were dragged out of our classes by one of the teacher’s aides who lived just up the road a few houses. My mom – who went to court to fight this while we were on break because of a teacher’s strike that year – was out in the road trying to maintain the property being dragged out of our house. We were being evicted.
My grandparents stepped in for a few monthes, letting my sister and I stay in what was my uncle’s room in the house, while mom found a new place to live. the place she found ended up being near another school, and since I wanted to finish my school year with my friends, When i lived with her in the trailer park, we would walk to school. This is part of the reason why, in spite of being over 400 lbs, I am still mobile.
On my 12th birthday, I moved in with my grandparents. They would be the ones who would take care of me until I moved out on my own a month and a half to my 22nd birthday – almost a full 10 years. In that time, I went from being a boy to a man, with the final success being the drivers license I would eventually lose again and a trip to New york to top off the millenium.
My Grandparents and I would argue, mainly because i was a big busy kid who thought he knew it all. I have always regretted not inviting them to my festivities, because they should have always known that I appreciated the love and support they were giving me. They knew – and still know – a lot more of what I am and how I came to be than I know myself, and know many of the reasons why I am the way that I am. They could have kicked me out for all the BS they put up with in me, and never let me move in for the things that did transpire; yet, even though they weren’t at my concerts or my football games, I knew they were doing their best to take care of two unruly teenagers.
The man I couldn’t thank yesterday, ironically enough, was the same man who caused all of these problems. When he met my mom, he was one of those guys you don’t approach – wild, rambunctious, and messed up. He would eventually move in with us, and earned my hatred for smacking me in the face when he was drunk and giving me a bloody nose, followed by a grounding. For a long time, I was afraid of him, and shut him out because of his drug and alcohol problems. He would be the eventual reason behind our eviction and me moving into my grandparents.
So why thank the man who caused so much misery? I know, deep down, that was never his intent. When he was sober, he always tried connecting with me, as if I were his own son, and even though it took me many years to finally realize this, he tried his best to be as accepting of a man as he could be. At one time, I would have been glad of his death, for the misery created by him took a long time to get past; yet, I almost busted tears the day he died, because by that point, I saw the man he really was underneath. I think he was just as afraid of being the father figure as I was of having one. Thank you, Joseph Geist. You will never know how much more of a father you were to me than my real dad ever was.
There are many other men who stood their ground to help me become who I am today, from the coaches who tried to help me lose the weight and be an athlete I never was, to the director of the local Boys and Girls club who would eventually become the local area director, to the choir teacher who pushed me to be a stronger and better singer, to even the landlord I have today who, in spite of the mistakes he’s made, has always forgiven me wwhen I was late on payments and has given me plenty of chances. There are a number of names I wish i could put here to tell you – and the world – how much you were appreciated. You guys know who you are, though – you were my teachers, my coaches, my directors; and through it all, you held firm your belief. Thank you.