I was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy in July of 1982. Up until seventh grade, I was never physically able to put my left heel down. For the majority of my young life, I walked around with a brace on my leg. This led to schoolyard insults from various bullies and an inability to participate in sports. Not that I ever really cared about sports. Early on, my parents knew that I would never be the football captain in high school, and they never encouraged it. I tried to join the junior baseball league, but the coach decided that the team would be better off without me. This marked the end of Adam Renkovish and the world of sports. I discovered the arts instead.
I was born with a love for film, music, photography, and theatre – especially film. Some of my fondest memories involve following my friends around with a video camera and making movies. I remember when I saw Jurassic Park seven times in the theatre and thought it was the greatest film ever made. As I grew older, my taste in film evolved. I began watching foreign films on BRAVO, back when good films were their priority, back before Real Housewives. I discovered the Coen Brothers, Ingmar Bergman, and Henry Jaglom. And then, one night, I was at my friend’s house, and his mother bought him a VHS of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Things would never quite be the same. I became a true film fanatic on that day. I started watching anything that I could get my hands on after that. Nothing has changed. I’m still seeking the best that cinema has to offer.
In the back of my mind, I’ve always wondered about my father, though. When most men have a son, they dream of playing catch, watching their son succeed on the football field, they dream of fishing and camping trips, the usual things that men love to do. I was the exact opposite. I was much happier in the theatre seeing a play or a movie, or in front of my vinyl player listening to Smetana’s Moldau than I would have been doing any of those other things.
Had I cheated my father somehow? The thought always lingered.
I really had no reason to believe this. Steve Renkovish is a great man. He has always been the best father that anyone could ask for. He has an enormous heart. I lived alone in a dorm room during my freshman year in college. I was a bit of a hermit, and I spent most of my time studying. During that time, my father would show up, bringing movies and junk food. Sometimes, he’d bring an indie film or two. We’d sit, watch, talk with one another and laugh. My dad and I were bonding over film.
Over the years, he has continued to encourage me in my endeavors. He has never stopped believing in me. The fact that I was never able to play ball with him or score a touchdown never mattered to him then and it doesn’t now. He knew early on that I would never be able to do any of those things. He knew that I was going to be a little different. He is proud of me, his love is unconditional. This is a comfort.
On this Father’s Day, I will remember all of these things. I thank God for the memories that we have shared, for the bond that holds us together. I thank God for Steve Renkovish, who looks upon me as a blessing and not as a burden. I am honored to call him my father.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.