Natural Awakenings Twin Cities June 2022
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Featuring: The Healing of the Modern Man, and Men Are Not Machines
Father’s Day is that special time to honor those who have played an integral role in our lives and the lives of those we love. Whether it is your birth father, an adopted, step or foster dad, or simply a special person who stepped in to provide you love, guidance and care, we are truly blessed when there is someone in our life we call Dad.
For me, that person was someone who accepted me into his already large family when I was just 2 years old. Robert Broeffle married my single mother Sharon and added us to his already large brood. He was a divorced man in his early 40s who was granted custody of all six of his biological children, and had been raising them with the help of his mother for a few years already. Times were not easy back then, and he made plenty of mistakes along the way, including having an addiction to alcohol. Yet by the time I was 5 years old, he had quit drinking and smoking cigarettes, and worked very hard to provide us with a safe and stable home.
I was in third grade when they finally married, and he adopted me as his child. Little did I know that the reason the marriage was on hold was because they were working with my birth father to give up his parental rights. My parents did not want to marry and have everyone in the family have the same last name except for me. He really did save me from a life of constant teasing when my name was changed from Sweet to Broeffle (Candi Sweet—can you imagine?).
Dad was a quiet man and not one to show much affection; that is, until my younger sister and I asked him one evening why he never told us he loved us. “Every night, we tell you we love you when we say goodnight, and you never say it back,” my sister said. “Don’t you love us?” His eyes immediately filled with tears and he replied, “Of course I love you both—more than you will ever understand!” And from that day forward, there was never a day that went by that he did not tell us he loved us and give us a hug.
As a teenager, my friends thought it was so odd that whenever we left the house, both my parents would hug me and tell me they loved me. I guess that was not standard practice in every home—what a shame.
For all of you who still have that special “Dad” in your life, give them a hug and tell them how much they mean to you. One day you will long to hear those words again, and feel the security of the hug only they provide.