David is my daddy. Today is his 74th birthday. He is my hero. Daddy adopted me, my younger sister and my little brother, when I was 12 years old. There is something very special about a parent that will take on someone else's children, shower them with love and raise them up as their own.
My dad's first wife passed away with a brain tumor and he was left with their two young girls, ages six and three. Several years later, he met and married my mother.
You see, my father made two broken families whole again. Each parent sold their existing homes and moved us into "our" home. Each parent also adopted the others' children making all of our names the same. There was never any distinction between his and hers. It was ours. We were a real-life Brady Bunch where love and discipline were handed out equally and fairly. Four years later there was a new addition to this blended family. She was "our" baby sister and the final seam that glued our family together as one.
Ironically, my father was not shown a lot of individual love as a child. He grew up in the shadow of his then world famous but very absent father. His mother had other younger children at home and she was working the third shift in the nearby cotton mill. His father was a catcher for the New York Yankees and played in the 1947 World Series. Players were not paid the salaries that many of our athletes today receive.
Well, Daddy and his brother, Charlie, knew their way around town (Lancaster, South Carolina) by the time they were 8 and 10 years old. They knew how to shoot pool and would often wander the late-night streets while Granny was at work.
Someone informed Granny as to what was going on and Granny decided the best thing to do would be to send daddy and Charlie to the Connie Maxwell Children's Home in Greenwood, South Carolina. It was there where my dad and uncle spent their childhood. I think daddy spent ten years there and Uncle Charlie eight or nine.
Both of those boys turned into fine young men. Both went onto college with sports scholarships and received their degrees. Daddy received a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and became a teacher, a coach, a mentor and later a high school principal.
It is only now that I have grown older and have a family of my own, that I can truly appreciate the amount of love and that was given to each of us children. I appreciate and respect the steps my mother and father took to make our family whole again, those many years ago.
As the saying goes, 'Any man can be a father, but it takes a really special man to be a 'daddy.''
Last October, my daddy suffered a stroke. After much hard work and determination, he has since regained most of his mobility, but he has lost the gift of speech. My dad loved to tell stories of his childhood. He so enjoyed running into former students and faculty. He loved to catch up on old times. He is such a caring man that even after all of his struggles this past year he can still say, "I love you." I can't ask for anything greater than for him to be able to say those three little words to me.
Daddy is my hero and will always hold my heart. My family has been blessed to have been given such a good, kind and gentle man.
I thank you for the opportunity to share a little of the hero, that made the biggest impact that shaped my life.
Submitted by Anonymous
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