It’s easy to thank you for being the most incredible dad, father figure to Zack and grandpa to Owen with Father’s day right about the corner, but more than anything this year I want to thank you for being you. Last week when you visited us in Berlin it reminded me that most kids don’t truly realize the full lives their parents had before they were born. I had obviously heard stories about your time spent in the military, serving at Check Point Charlie, but to be here with you as you saw it for the first time in thirty years was such an incredible experience. It’s crazy to think about how different both of our lives might be if you went back for a second tour of duty like you had planned. Would you still be in the military? What would mom have done for work? Would I have been born in Berlin? Would I have been born at all? Would Anthony have been born? So much clearly hinged on the wall coming down, but so much in our family hinged on that wall coming down too.
You and mom were just kids when you heard the news that you would in fact not be returning to Berlin, and I can only imagine the loop that threw you for after making the decision to re-enlist. Regardless, you handled it in a way that makes me saying it almost feel insignificant because you we’re able to pivot seamlessly. You started your business, started your family and lived right there in the moment and the place you were. Not once in my childhood or even in my adulthood did I ever believe that there was a part of you that wondered well, what if?
I explained to Zack just last night how interesting it was to be here with not just you, but mom too. This place held such a huge place in both of your lives. But for mom, after over thirty years of Berlin playing a role in her life, she set her eyes on it. She set her eyes on a place that she had only heard about through stories and letters and had only seen through photographs and films. A place where she undoubtedly worried about you, her boyfriend, day in and day out as you lived and served in the military here. That’s crazy! We haven’t talked about it, but was last week super emotional for you both? It must have been.
Whether you realized or not, in the moment when you made the decision to embrace change and make the best of your situation it impacted my life and ultimately the mother that I am and the life Zack and I are providing to Owen. You can make thoughtful, calculated decisions in life that you think will lead you down one path, but really, nothing in this life is guaranteed. Nothing is within your control and it’s best to just roll with the punches and make the best out of it all.
There are times that I worry, especially given our current situation now of traveling the world. What if something doesn’t work out? What if my job or Zack’s job becomes nonexistent? What if all the sudden we hate traveling? What if life happens, as it inevitably will, and something in our current path and plan changes? What will we do?
The truth is that I don’t know the real answer to any of those questions, but what I do know is that it will be okay and that we will work it out. A huge part of my confidence in this is because of you, your history with Berlin and the way you made lemons out of lemonade. And more than anything this father’s day, I want to say thank you for that. Thank you for leading by example, for supporting us on our un-traditional path, for loving me always and for being you. I love you and hope you have the best father’s day.
This post was written for a writing series I’m part of called, Together We Mother. Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below: