"Who Gives This Woman"
The Quintessential Two Daddy Moment
I couldn't decide and it wasn't fair!
How could I pick between the man who fathered me and loved me from afar, (People called him Bob. My Disneyland and Birthday Dinner Daddy. The rejected one. But not by me.) Or the man who raised me and provided for me while I grew. Not "Daddy", although he was as good as. But then how could we tell them apart when I spoke of one or the other. No, not Daddy, but Dad sometimes. Pops more often, but always "Lukie Bean." I was three when one was forced into the background of my life and the other took his place in the day to day working out of it.
Daddy was cerebral, witty, and mildly sarcastic. Quiet. Stoic. Long suffering. A voracious reader and well spoken. Professional photographer, graphic designer and layout artist before the days of computer everything. For most of my growing up he was a corporate desk jockey working in the marketing department. Gentle with a touch of sadness. Former Marine.
But Lukie Bean was funny. He was a fun Papa. Almost like a favorite, mischief making uncle. He worked hard. Outside in the sun. With his hands. Entrepreneur. General Contractor. He loved adventure. A prankster. A laugh-out-loud practical joker who loved to tease and made me learn to take it on the chin. I was allowed to get even, good-naturedly, but not angry. Creative in a whole different way. A poet. Life of the party. Jester. Navy Veteran.
But there was this oddity. One of the very oddest of oddities. To me an impossible strangeness. They both had the same name. Not just first name, but both first and middle names. Robert Eugene. Thankfully, their last names were not similar at all. That would have been just too weird.
But anyway, I couldn't decide so I refused to decide. It didn't matter if it made them uncomfortable. It didn't matter if it made mother uncomfortable. It was their past, their choices and getting right with God, getting on with life and making peace with it all didn't change the reality. I never had and I never would choose sides. It was none of my doing.
So I walked the isle that night, almost 50 years ago, Daddy on my left and Lukie Bean on my right and when the pastor asked "Who gives this woman....." They did as I asked (maybe for the first an only time) and said in perfect concert, taking it on the chin good-naturedly, "We Do!"
Happy Father's Day
Miss you both
See you soon