While our Fathers are not always talked about or praised, we appreciate all of them whether good or bad. Our fathers help shape and mold our foundations in our lives and we look up to them for it. My mother, Salethia Oldham Watts, taught me no matter how a parent is they are still your parent. You can learn a lot from them just by watching and listening. She was raised by her stepfather, James T (Tanker, Jr) Oldham, College Park, GA, that still is a part of our lives even though she has gone on from this life. My grandfather was the first man that I fell in love with. He would take me everywhere when he wasn’t on the road driving his 18 wheeler. My grandfather called me sweet pea and took me around to the Glow bar in downtown Hopkinsville, KY when I was six months old and would sit me on the bar admiring me. My grandmother, Annetta Oldham, would call down there fighting mad and telling him to bring me home. Once I got home my baby bottle was full of beer. I know you are thinking oh my goodness that is terrible but it was just what it was. I laughed when my grandmother use to tell me how angry she would get at my grandfather. My father, Master Sergeant, Cedric Veasey, was over seas in Korea and my stepfather, Wayne Watts, was in Germany at the time. While I don’t understand that whole situation, I’m close with both father and not as close with my stepfather like I would hope to be. My stepfather is a hardworking man and imposed responsibility in my life and showed me that family is important. He had some strict values but overall is a great provider. My father is still enlisted in the military and he makes me laugh fussing at me all of the time. It was a very hard thing meeting him when he came back from Iraq in July, 2003. My grandmother had taken ill so he took an early leave to get to Chicago and stopped to see me. We look just alike and it was hilarious how we made the same gestures and we just met. He is a good man. My mother chose my stepfather and it is what it is. My father and his family always loved me and wanted me to be in their life. So many questions to ask, but my mother who passed 13 years ago. No matter what has happened I love both my father and step father. They are dear to me. With the ups and downs they still saw fit to see me survive. My grandfather resides in College Park, GA. I remembered having such a wonderful time with my grandfather August 8, 1998 in Crofton, KY. My son met him for the first time and he was still pulling tricks out his hat cheating in spades. We laughed and had the best time. That was the last year my mother was with us to celebrate the 8th of August. I am very grateful for the men in my family whether they are biological or not. We don’t often understand how life has a way of taking a huge turn or a different path but God knows best. I don’t always agree with the decisions the men in my life have made but I respect it and I respect them. We don’t praise our fathers as much as we should; moreover, we don’t show them appreciation as much as we should. Father’s day comes once a year but our fathers struggle to provide all year. Whether it be a good relationship or bad, your father is still your father. Feel blessed in your legacy and remember both the good and bad times that you have encountered with your dad. In order for you to have a bright future, embrace your past and appreciate your present. Until we talk again ……”love yourself and you’ll find love all around you”. –Val Watts (article inspired by the late James VanArsdale R.I.P. November 7, 2011.