Father’s day can be a painful one for many. I think of those who have lost fathers and those who have lost children. I think of those who’s fathers walked out and those who’s children are estranged.
I think about the many times that I wished that my own father was worth celebrating on Father’s day. I think of the many father daughter dances I’ve watched through misty eyes. I think of all the times I’ve wondered why me and my family weren’t good enough for him to stick around.
But then I think of my step dad.
My step father stepped in and stepped up. He stuck around and continues to do so. He looked after us and cared for us. He attended ballet concerts and award ceremonies. He was there.
I spent so many of my younger years so focused on the hurt my father had brought me that I missed the man standing right in front of me. Sure, he might not be the ‘fun’ guy or the emotional one. He might be strict and stubborn and a little obsessive compulsive about stupid things, but he is funny and loyal and protective and responsible. He learned to love a family that was broken and complicated and he made it his own.
And that is why he walked me down the aisle.
Not because my own father wasn’t available and willing, because trust me, he was and he made it clear.
No, my step dad gave me away because he earned it. He earned the heck out of it!
So I just want to take a minute to honour the step dads out there. You are brave and you are strong. It is such a loving thing you are doing! Thank you for stepping in when others stepped out. For putting on your big boy pants and doing the right thing. For making the tough decisions and sticking it out when things get rough. Thank you for not giving up on us!