Today I sat at the final basketball game of the season for our oldest son. In the seat to the right of me was my mother-in-law. To the left was my other mother-in-law ... your mom. They both cheered loud for our son and watched you coach his team.
I had a moment today. As I watched you out on the court-coaching and cheering on our son-I thought about the road that got us here. It has been four years since you came into our life. Today I realized something I may have been taking for granted all these years: you chose to be here.
I sometimes forget the feeling of sitting at the funeral-just a few years back-and aching that my five kids would not have a dad to help raise them. I forget how my body hurt just thinking about all the moments that we would do alone.
I cried many tears for the fact that my sons would never have a dad to teach them how to play ball, or give them advice about girls. I thought about all the dances and first dates the girls would leave for without a dad to tell them they looked beautiful.
I knew one day I would remarry-I hoped they would one day have a stepdad-but I just knew it would never be the same.
And then there you were. It felt like I was in a dream-at first-having you love me. Most of the time I felt unworthy of love, but-no matter how hard I tried to push you away-you loved me anyway.
You made my kids feel special, and you were always trying to be there for them. It wasn't always easy for you-I could see how hard it was some days to all of a sudden have to balance six kids. I know it was a sacrifice in many ways for you to give the other five some of the energy and love you used to be able to give to just one.
Some days I forget you could have looked at us as used baggage. You could have seen the trauma and imperfections, you could have seen how broken we were-but you didn't. You chose to see so much more-even more than I could see-you saw us.
I sometimes forget that you were not always here with me. I forget that you had a life without me; but I also forget that you fell in love with all of us-and chose to marry the whole package. I forget that your options were endless-and you still choose us.
Our family isn't normal. We haven't always been together-like other families have. Sometimes that is hard, and it makes us think maybe all the work isn't worth the fight. But sweet husband-today I see you. The you that works hard to love the kids he didn't get to help create. I see you-the man who fathers by choice instead of obligation. I see you-the man who chose to be a dad to five children who had lost hope in having one.
Being a stepdad probably wasn't ever part of your plan. That's the crazy part about life-our plans are going to fail. But thank you for taking your failed plan and finding us in ours ... and becoming a father.
Those moments I just knew life was never going to be the same-I was right-life has never been the same since my babies lost their father ... and it never will be. But today as I looked out at a basketball game and watched a "stepdad" coach a little boy- I remembered you were always meant to be his father.
We aren't always going to understand the WHY's of this life ... but the joy that I felt today helped me understand the HOW's. God had a plan for us ... and He gave us YOU.
Anyone can become a father-thousands of them are made every single day-but not everyone would choose to step in and become a dad. That kind of a parent takes an extra special person-one like you.