When Dad is Gone.

Ah, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. It's a beautiful and wonderful day the Lord has made. 

Wait, it's also Father's Day. 

(Sigh) Man, what I wouldn't give to have my dad alive for Father's Day. Actually, I'd be happy with any day for that matter. 

Although I have been blessed with some AMAZING men in my life that have guided me, taught me, and loved me, there is nothing that can replace a daddy and daughter relationship. Or is there? 

What it's like when you don't have a "daddy" growing up...

It's hard. Its emotional. It's easy to become envious of all your friends who do have theirs. People will pick on you. People will try to understand, but nobody knows the feeling, except you. It's a completely individual experience that only YOU can comprehend. 

I unfortunately lost mine to a plane crash (you can read that story in my other post). So, it's not like he left my brothers, me, and our mom voluntarily. He did not "walk out on us." He was called home by God at an early age. He knew that serving his country COULD prove dangerous but his patriotic soul wouldn't have it any other way. 

So, back to it being Father's Day. After dad died, my two brothers stepped up to the plate. They are a FEW years older than me so it just seemed like the natural thing to do to help mom out, I guess. 

They taught me how to tell time in elementary school, how to play softball in middle school, how to drive in high school, and became super protective when I started dating. Sounds like I had 2 dads huh? 

Remind me to hash out the "learning to drive" story for ya'll later. You'll get a kick out of that one! 

Well, as I matured I still really missed my dad but I also realized I was lucky because I had 2 father figures in my life. I began to feel like I hit the lottery! 

So even though they are my brothers, I don't know that I could ask for better men to celebrate when it comes to be able to say Happy Father's day to those two! 

Years after dad died, when I was in my early 20's, my mom met my Poppa. Yes, that's what I call my step dad. I just couldn't bring myself to say "dad" so I picked the next best thing. Let me tell each and every one of you, my POPPA IS THE BEST

He has seen me grow through some horrible and terrible times in my life. He was truly a God send during the passing of my mother. I don't know that I could have survived that loss without him. I dont know that me OR my brothers could have. Ya see, Poppa took over the caregiver title when mom was brought home to hospice. And even though my brothers, my sister in law, and I have nursing experience, my Poppa held it all together. Especially when we were all a blubbering mess at moms bedside during those last few hours. 

Then, when I came out to my family, I was most encouraged when my Poppa said to me "Ok. I love you no matter what. All I want is for you to be happy." Those words will forever be burned in my heart. A non-judgmental and encouraging way for him to support me. Such a wonderful and refreshing experience. Some seem to judge no matter what happens. Not my Poppa! No wonder he fits in so well with my family. 

So, I don't want you to feel sorry for me or anything of the sort with this post. This post is to teach you that even when we lose those close to us, God sends us people to step up to the plate and take care of us. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, brothers, stepdads, and all the other men out there! 

#fathersday #brothers #stepdads #allthemen #blessed #thankful 

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