Fatherlove - Keeping Fathers Connected

2001 Father of the Year Essay Contest

Teacher: Mrs. Patty Lavelle
School: Franklin High School

What My Father Means to Me: The Real Dad

I found it interesting how in the directions to this contest it was continually emphasized how participants were to write about "their own father". It Was admitted that a grandfather, friend, coach, teacher or stepfather might mainly fill that place but that the contest organizers would prefer the writer talk about their real dad. That was funny to me because my stepfather, as some may refer to him, and my "own father" are one in the same.

If someone were to ask me who my father is AI would immediately say "Richard Hansen," I wouldn't even have to think about it. Some may try to argue that, by saying his blood does not flow through my veins, therefore he is not truly my real father, but to me there is no other. Richard Hansen is the man who holds me when I cry. He is the one who watched Zorro with me and played "Batman and Robin" even though he always had to be the bad guy. He is the one who searched for me every day after work even though he knew I always hid under my bed. He is the man who coached my basketball team, and who would take me to get a Slurpee after every practice. He is the man who taught me how to ride a bike and is now teaching me how to ride a car. Above all else he has always loved me as if his blood really did flow through my veins.

The things I listed above are what a "father means to me." Any man can produce a child; God has given them that ability, but it takes a Father to raise a child. Richard Hansen is my one and only Papi.