To the Dad who didn’t have to love me like his own—but chose to anyway:
Thank you for stepping up. Full stop.
To fill a very big, very unexpectedly emptied pair of shoes.
Shoes that were not your size, nor your responsibility to fill—
But you wanted to fill them nonetheless.
And so, you did.
You made something that would challenge even the most caring of hearts,
Look incredibly, beautifully, and openly easy.
Even in the hard times, even when I wanted to push you away.
Even when I didn’t understand love, and life, and loss.
Especially then—you chose to love me through it.
Because you recognized that the kind of love you could offer
Could change the course of a life.
A very young life—one that already knew loss and pain.
I never knew what being a parent to someone else’s child could have meant.
I still don’t know, not fully, the position you’re in.
What you’ve sacrificed just to offer me love.
The lengths you’ve gone to, to fill a hole you didn’t make.
I will never know,
But I can guess.
And with all my guesses added up, one thing I do know—
I’m so thankful.
One thing I do know—
I love you.
And one thing I do know
you have changed my life for the better.
Because that’s just what love does;
Full and wholesome love.
The kind that lifts up a child,
and restarts a family.
The kind that brings it all back home.
Love doesn’t discriminate against a hard or challenging path.
Love doesn’t hesitate in the face of responsibility.
Love just shows up. Repeatedly. Reliably.
So to the fathers who love us like their own, but certainly didn’t have to:
Thank you for being that love.
The kind that chose to step up and offer it all,
The kind that has taught us more about loving others than you might know.
The kind that filled our cup when we were dry and defeated.
The kind that helped fill a void and make us smile again.
Thank you for raising us, Dad. And thank you for being that kind of love…for us.
Happy Father’s Day: to the dad who didn’t have to love me like his own—but chose to anyway.