Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mike Wagar...

Before I begin this post I have to state something first.

I have had three fathers in this life. I have a birth father, an adoptive father, and a bonus (step) father.

I love my dad, Michael Downing. I see so many kids, especially students, who are living with step-parents, and they are/or feel unloved and unwanted. My dad, Michael, has raised me and loved me as his own. My dad made me feel wanted, and that was and still is a hard thing to make me feel. I love you, Dad!

Now, for my post...

I received a package in the mail this week. I wasn't expecting anything, so it took me by surprise. I opened the box, and pictured below is what was inside.

I have mentioned a time or two that I am adopted. I was six when I left my roots and grafted on to another clan. At almost seven, I was officially and legally a Kleinman/Berryman (a few years later I became a Downing, as well). I won't get into specifics. That is for another post.

Now, back to the package...

When I opened this box and saw the hat and belt my birth father, Mike Wagar actually wore...I just can't put it properly into words what I felt. At the risk of sounding cliche, I felt a flood of emotions. To own something that was once his means so much to me. My dad, Mike Wagar, died a few years ago, and when he did I lost the chance of ever knowing him the way girls should know their fathers. I felt cheated, left out, and unwanted.

Mike Wagar is/was the most handsome, rough n' tough cowboy I have ever known. His hat and belt symbolize his life in a nutshell.

Alicia is my brother's girlfriend (soon to be wife). She mailed me the package along with the most beautiful, sweet letter. Most amazing to me was the fact that she hand wrote the letter. I haven't seen a handwritten letter in years! Just to know my brothers know who I am, and their significant others know who I am is gift enough for me. I loved those boys. I was old enough to care when I left. They were just babies. I know they have no memories of me at home, but rest assured, I have enough memories for all of us.

I kept my Wagar name until I was married. I am proud of my non-traditional, somewhat disfunctional, and always an adventure life.

Who knew the power an old hat and belt would have over me. When I opened that box, I felt a part of something. Something I had been craving since I was six years old.

Thank you, Alicia, for sending such a special gift.

7 comments:

Sarah Blue said...

You just can't beat an old cowboy. Those are wonderful keepsakes/heirlooms. I'm glad that your soon to be SIL thought to send them to you.

Tina said...

This is a sweet, yet powerful post...much like the gift you received. (I am glad you mentioned the hand written letter too. Those can be priceless.)

franksgirl said...

Sabra I just put on my mascara!!! I must tell you now before who knows what happens in life. I have always been intrigued by you. I love your sense of humor I absolutely think it’s genuine and hilarious. I love that you’re very sensitive but that you wouldn’t get that impression in first meeting you. I love that you can take the good with the bad and always find humor in all things. I love the fact that you’re a very strong WISE woman. I love the fact that you are who you are, I’m glad that I have had the chance to call you friend. Just felt that I needed to say that to you, because I think life is too short and we should never be ashamed we missed an opportunity to let someone know how much we love them. Hope you have an awesome day, cuz you know in my world you’re a rock star!!!

Carol Godinez said...

From our conversations about him over the years, I know how much this means to you. I'm so glad you finally have a piece of him. I'm sure he's watching over you and so very proud of the woman you are.

Wendy said...

How wonderful Sabra! I am so thrilled for you!

Granni P said...

Ultimate Hope will always win. I love you dear girl and you must know how much you mean to me. What a wonderful day for you! I am sorry we didn't get to rejoice together. Hope you are having a wonderful time in Hawaii.

TAMMY CLARIDGE said...

You brought tears to my eyes with this post. You, like Denise said, have the gift of humor as seen in your posts about the paint spill (I would have flipped a lid!) and yet are so sensitive that you bring out the emotion in everyone who reads. Love you girl! What an awesome gift and I hope that the hat didn't get too ruined, as in a previous post as well:)