Fairy Tales Don’t Always Have Happy Endings

Once upon a time in a land not so far away there lived a daddy and his little girl. The two of them adored each other and had many wonderful times together. The little girl had only to ask and her daddy would give her whatever she wished. There was nothing this man would deny his daughter except for one thing. When the girl was just a wee little thing she would often ask, “Daddy, why don’t you give me a step-mother?” The dad would look her in the eye and say, “You don’t really want a step-mother. Step-mothers are mean.” This conversation occurred many times over the years until the little girl became a young lady.

When the little girl became a young lady the desire for a stepmother faded away. The young lady was content to have her daddy all to herself. Sometimes the man didn’t know how to be a daddy to a young lady. He had been the perfect daddy for the little girl but when she began to grow up the daddy didn’t always know what to do. The young lady would burst into the irrational tears of an adolescent girl for no reason. She would want to be little one minute and grown up the next. These things perplexed the daddy but in time the waves that their relationship had experienced calmed and it was once again smooth sailing.

The young lady soon became a woman and met a handsome prince who wanted to marry her and take her to a distant land. This time the daddy handled the changing relationship well and welcomed the prince into his family. After a while, the young prince and his wife decided they wanted a child of their own. Soon the woman gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. The woman’s daddy was there that day just like he had been for every important event throughout her whole life.

The man transformed from a daddy into a grandfather in the blink of an eye. It was if the man was created to be a grandfather. He loved the little boy and spent even more time with him than he had his own little girl. There was nothing he would deny the little boy, except for one thing. The little boy wanted his grandfather to find a woman to be his grandmother. Just as the man had warned his daughter. he gave a similar warning to the little boy. “You don’t want me to get married, for if I do I won’t have time to spend with you.”

All was well in the kingdom for many years until one day the man disappeared. The grandson didn’t understand why his grandfather was suddenly missing. The woman and her son called for the man and searched for him but he was no where to be found. They would sit and wait for him to come riding back into the kingdom. The day finally arrived when the man returned to his daughter and grandson. He came bearing news that troubled their hearts greatly. The man had met a woman and was soon to be married. It was as if the man had forgotten his own warnings to his daughter and his grandson. Suddenly things were very different between the man and his family. He no longer came to their home everyday and didn’t return the little boy’s daily messages. The little boy was devastated and the daughter was hurt and confused at her father’s sudden change of character.

The man did indeed get married; and just as he had warned his daughter and grandson, things never were the same. He never had any time to spend with them. He was suddenly gone from their lives. He was always busy and never took time to be with them anymore. The woman and her son tried to ride out the rolling waves of the storm but one day it became clear that the relationship was sinking. The woman navigated out of the storm to safety, in order that she might save the little boy. The man, however, stayed in the midst of the storm and they didn’t see him again for many years until someone delivered a message to the woman that her daddy was very ill and had asked to see her again.

The woman, her Prince Charming, and her handsome son went immediately to the man’s bedside. Things between them were as they once were and they began to make plans for things they would do when he recovered from his sickness. The man wanted to ride beautiful horses with his daughter and her son. He longed to take a trip in a beautiful riverboat with sparkling chandeliers. As the weeks passed the woman began to see that her daddy would never ride the horses with his family or sleep in the riverboat as he had dreamed.

Everyday the man grew sicker. Finally the daughter and her prince of a husband were called to the man’s bedside for the last time. They stayed with the man all morning telling stories that the woman recalled from her childhood adventures with her daddy. There was the time he made her an Indian maiden dress, the time he rescued her from a majestic oak tree that had been planted by her grandfather, and the stories of all the miles the man had traveled through icy roads to deliver little red snow boots to his daughter. After a short time the man took his last breath, his heart rate slowed to a stop, and he stepped out of this world and into the Kingdom of God.

I wonder why the man refused to heed his own warnings? Why could he not have a wife, daughter and grandson all at the same time? Why did he feel he had to choose? I wonder if he ever saw the poison he was being fed by the stepmother? Why did the man allow someone to deceive him and keep him from his daughter and grandson? The only comfort in this story comes from the fact that God gave the daughter the gift of spending her dad’s last days on earth with him and allowed her and her husband the privilege of being there when God called her daddy home. In the end the wicked stepmother may have succeeded in taking the daughter and grandson out of the man’s life but she failed miserably at taking them out of his heart.

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