I started working for a photographer when I was in high school. He hired me to figure out some of the higher tech equipment, and help on shoots and things. We got along well, even though his son is a few months older than I am, we were friends as well as employer/employee.
He offered, sincerely, to come and photograph my wedding, if I was ever to get married, and as we were planning our little wedding years ago, he kept his word and came out, helped with things, and took a great set of photos. He even watched the kids for us while we ran off for a couple of days for a brief honeymoon. My parents weren’t interested in coming to the wedding, or talking to me, so they weren’t there.
Over the years, my photographer buddy filled the role that my Dad would have had he been around. We’d call and talk about the kids, money, my job, his photography, movies, and whatever. He gave me some confidence when we were pregnant, and listened to more than anyone should have listened to when I my marriage was ending.
One year, when work was particularly difficult, and things weren’t the best at home, and money was tight, he bought me a plane ticket and had me come visit for 4 days. He covered everything, didn’t ask for anything, and thanked me for coming when I was leaving.
He has filled the “Dad Void” for me over the years that my Dad hasn’t been here for me.
He’s flying in tomorrow. I’m happy he’s coming. He has no agenda, no plans, just wants to visit, roam around town, read his book while I work, if need to work, and probably make sure I’m doing ok.