I’ve been doubly blessed in my life to have two dads.

I think of my first dad as Daddy Dale.  He was killed in a car accident when I was only two.  Although I was very young at the time, I have snip-its of memories of him.  Those precious memories are of moments we spent together – sitting together in a chair, being in the car together (in our little beige ‘bug’), walking alongside him while I carried my doll, and one memory of him scolding me.  I loved the feeling of being with him.

My second father is the dad who raised me.  Our relationship is especially meaningful because he was my dad by choice, not just by chance.  In fact, he chose me twice – once when I was a little girl and he began dating my mother.  The second time when I was 23 after he and my mother divorced.  Dad had no legal obligations to me, but he chose to continue being a loving and supportive father to me, and has since been a loving grandfather to our sons.

My dad provided a nice living for us, but when I look back, it’s not the things he provided that mean the most, but the time we spent together and the memories we share – like road trips from Indiana to California, Florida, West Virginia, and lots of states and landmarks in between.  Time spent visiting him at work and going places with him, even if it was just to run an errand.  On Sundays he’d stop to buy the newspaper on the way home from church, and would also buy me a pixie stick that I’d enjoy all the way home.  Dad did lots of home improvement projects and let me spend time watching him work.  He set up sprinklers on summer days for my friend and I to run through, and would make me feel like the queen of the world when he’d put me on top of the refrigerator – only to walk away and leave me stranded and screaming!  We spent time on his motorcycles.  I vivdly remember one hot, humid summer night when he took me on a ride through town to cool off, enjoying the sweet fragrances of flowers along the way.   As I got older he spent time helping me – fixing things that were broken, moving me in and out of apartments, and helping me with my car. He also spent time through the years acting in my best interest – providing good experiences and preventing bad ones, teaching me, and advising me.   In recent years, Dad has taken the time to travel from his home in Indiana to visit us here in Charlotte.  He was just here with his wife Carolyn last week – and again, it was spending time with him that I cherished the most.

Yes, of all the things my dad provided through the years, the best gift was of his time.  Not only did he choose to become my Dad, he took the time to be a Dad, too.

Thanks, Dad!   Happy Father’s Day!

Love always,

Renee

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