Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 26, 2013

HAMILTON: Good fathers are the best Mothers Day gifts

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Even though my mom died in February, my dad still gave her the greatest of Mothers Days that year — he loved and fathered a child that he didn’t sire. He was there for that child, her child, even when she could not have been there herself.

I have written about my own dear goddaughter on so many occasions. She calls me Poppy, because her religion doesn’t recognize godfathers. However, mine does, and like my dad, even though I did not sire that child, I love her as if she was my own.

Jilly is an adult now, and some time ago, I stopped by her house on the way to the radio studio and chatted with her before I began to back out of the driveway where she was standing. I stopped, blew my horn and drove forward again to tell her that, “You know Jilly, I have always told people that you are my goddaughter; but in reality, you are like my real daughter.”

Jilly smiled, gave me one of those acknowledging, feminine waves of the hand and said, “Oh, Poppy; I have been telling people that for years.” My heart flooded with joy.

My godson, though he was shot and killed when he was 14 years of age and then living with his mother and stepfather in Virginia Beach, had always told me that even though he knew his own father, he had always told his friends that his real father lived in Niagara Falls. That would be me.

I now have two fine, adult sons, of which I have been totally involved in their lives. However, before my marriage, after their birth and after the divorce, I have dated women who did have children — lots of women.

One such child was one who both spoke his first words and took his first steps around me. When he was a child, it so happened that he lived in an apartment near my goddaughter, and they became friends. I took him out to dinner a few months ago, and when I told him of what my goddaughter had said about her telling people that I was her father, he simply said, “I know.”

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