My Dad

Sitting here in the breakfast nook at my Dad's house in Springfield Illinois, I feel comfortable and at home. No, I didn't grow up in this house. They moved here in 2007 from Gahanna and I had never been to this town before that. Yet when I look around I see my mother in every room. I feel her here with us, look at the photos of her on the wall, and even half expect her to come walking around the corner to sit down here with me. It is a comforting feeling, which is different than the other times I have been here since we lost her. The sadness I felt driving up and tears in my eyes as I saw her image hanging in the hall did not surface this time. This weekend was a celebration of my Dad's birthday, and the visit has been filled with hearty laughs and great conversation. I am grateful for weekends like this and wish that I lived closer to share more of these times with him, my sister, and her family.

My Dad is not really my father for those of you who do not know. He is my step-father. I do not say that because I want you to know that he and I are not biologically connected. Rather, I tell you because I want you to understand the sacrifices this man has made in becoming my Dad. In 1986, he chose to marry my mother and, in doing so, chose to marry us. We were a struggling family, living in a tiny apartment barely big enough for one person, much less the four of us. He took us away from that and provided me and my siblings a new life and new opportunities we would have never known any other way. And he didn't choose to do it because he had some sort of hero complex or as an ego boost. He did it because he found his soulmate in my mother. All of us know that, and have never questioned it. 23 years of marriage proved that to us. Now, after 24 years, I am so proud to call him my Dad, and could not pick a better Poppa for my sons. They idolize them, and he adores them. And he taught me how to be a man. What a great example he set. Happy Birthday Dad.


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