I am a firm believer that everything that happens to you in life has a purpose. You may not see it at that moment and it may take years for you to realize why things happen the way they do, but there's always a reason for all the heartaches in your life.
Thirty-five years ago, when I was nine, my father walked out and left our family. He had someone new, he married as soon as the divorce papers were signed and cleverly spent the next three years dodging his responsibilities as a father. He always had an excuse as to why he couldn't pay child support and why he could never come see us or call us even though he lived just four blocks from our home. At times, my brother and I would beg him to pick us up and let us spend time with him. When he finally did pick us up, he would take us for ice cream or a quick trip to the park, something short enough to make him feel like he did his duty and long enough to keep us satisfied for several more months. Often, when we asked him why he had left, he would always answer "Someday you'll be old enough to understand". I never questioned it thinking that one day I would finally find that magical answer as to why we were now second best. As we grew older, we stopped talking altogether.
Well one day my magical answer finally arrived. I was watching my husband play with our son and I finally did understand. I finally understood that my father was a coward and not really a father at all. He had given us part of our DNA but that was all. From the beginning he was really never there for us and now at 44 years of age, I look at my husband, the kind of father he is to our son and our daughter and I realize how much my father lost by leaving. I may have had heartache through my teenage years, but as an adult I was lucky enough to marry my high school sweetheart who has been the best father to our two children.
So to my husband I want to say.....
I am thankful to you for being the man you are.
I am thankful to you for being loyal, hard working, and loving to our children and to me.
I am thankful to you that everyday you do your best to be the best father to our children.
I am thankful to you because every day you tell them you love them and give each one of them a hug.
I am thankful that you encourage them to be the best they can be and to believe in themselves.
I am thankful to my father for leaving that day because it paved a determination in myself to create the family I cherish so much today. Finally, now that I am older, I understand that family and unconditional love are a gift given to us and in life some of us choose to cherish it and others choose to throw it away.
So to my loving husband......I SAY THANK YOU!!!