While thinking about Father’s Day I reflected on how blessed I have been to have had two Dads. My parents divorced when I was just a toddler and my mother remarried a wonderful man when I was three years old. My step dad never tried to take the place of my Dad. He quietly stood in the shadows unless it became necessary for him to step in for my protection. One of my earliest memories was of a time my biological father came to pick me up for his weekly visitation drunk. I was too young to understand what was going on but sensed that something wasn’t right. I don’t remember being angry at my step-dad for telling my Dad I could not go with him that day. I just remember being scared and confused by the actions of my Dad. My Dad shielded me from his drinking pretty well apart from that day. I was a preteen before I discovered that side of my Dad.
My step dad is a very patient and good man. He never said an unkind word about my father. He was the voice of reason when my mom was at her wits end with me. He often sat quietly and patiently talking to my siblings and myself about the choices we were making. I always hated those long talks but now I am so grateful that my mom married a man who treated her children as if they were his own. Not wanting to interfere in our relationships with our fathers he never let us call him Daddy. I thought then it was because he didn’t love us but now know it was because of the wonderful man that he is.
When my relationship with my biological Dad was suffering a few years ago my step dad was very hurt for me. He often told me how sorry he was for the choices my Dad made in the way he treated me. He was very disappointed. It was during this time that my step dad had a heart attack while working on a cabin he and my mom were building. He was alone miles from help when it happened and after hours managed to pull himself onto a bobcat and drive the distance to the nearest house for help. I remember how scared I was that night when we received the call. During that time I suddenly found myself calling him Daddy. At forty years old I realized that I loved him like a Dad. I still find myself perplexed as to what I should call him.
He provided me a home, food, and whatever else I needed without complaint. He took in three children who did not belong to him and became their Dad without the acknowledgement that a Dad receives. He loves me unconditionally. I am sorry that it took me so long to see how much he means to me and how much he sacrificed for me when I was growing up. I wish I had realized it when I was younger and could have had him walk me down the aisle along with my biological Dad when I got married. He is the best Dad and Gramps that there is and I am so thankful that God sent him to be my Daddy.