While I lost my father when I was 15 years old, I have very found memories of him. I was his "baby girl" and his love showed it. I loved sitting on his lap in the lazy boy, finishing his sugary, creamy coffee after he left for work, and just plain hanging around him. He was a man's man, loved to fish, hunt, BBQ, ride dirt bikes, and build things. I remember him making venison jerky on the BBQ, building very special color coordinated shelves for my bedroom, and giving me butterfly kisses. I wanted to hang around him so much, even when he was talking around the coffee table with his guy friends. He had a special phrase spoken in German that meant "get out of the room". This was not said in a mean way, simply emphatic and unforgettable.
Several years after he died, my mother was fortunate enough to find another wonderful man who I considered a step father, even though I was already well into my 20s. The qualities of this new "father" were very different from my dad, however, they were perfect qualities for my mother's needs and mine. Always protective, loving and supportive of me. He was a source of profound advice. He walked me down the isle, and fulfilled every wish that I wanted for my mother. After 15 years of having this wonderful "father," we lost him, too.
While the losses are sad, I have only great memories of both of them and I'm so grateful for their influence in my life. There's no way I would have found or appreciated the man I married without having been loved by these two fathers.
Lisa Anderson, Alameda, CA