January 31, 2010
I haven't had a dad in my life since mine passed away when I was eighteen years old. Truth be told, he wasn't a prominent figure for me the five years or so prior, our relationship a casualty of a particularly bitter divorce and subsequent custody battle. I mean no disrespect; it was simply a fact of our lives.
Most of the time, I am at peace with this. I am sorry that my dad missed the big ones--my wedding, getting to meet his grandchildren, etc., but my everyday adult life has never known a dad, so it's not something I miss keenly. And yet, I realize at key moments, that there was something missing, something many take for granted.
Not long ago, we celebrated the of Paul Krepp, the dad of our very good friends David, Cheryl, and Dennis. As I was sitting with pen to paper attempting to sign the with something suitable to the occasion--something to convey the appropriate sentiments--I found myself a bit lost in the attempt. Paul and Carol, over the years, have opened their hearts and their homes to us. For over 25 years, they have been a part of our lives, offering comfort or congratulations or advice or whatever was, at the time, warranted. They have witnessed the weddings, held the babies, and attended the funerals that were important to our family. They have, most importantly, loved us. Each milestone along the way, I have had, though not my dad, a father figure (and a mother figure), who have helped to fill a void I'm not sure I even realized was there. How to express the importance of that in a short three lines on a Hallmark card? I'm not sure it's possible, or at least not by one as ineloquent as I am. To say that I love Paul and respect him is inadequate, true as it is. A little lost in the reverie, I got a little too emotional, and I found I simply didn't have the words to say what I wanted to say. Ultimately, the card read merely, "I am so thankful you are such an important part of our lives." I hope that he could read the depth of my gratitude in those words, and in my eyes as well.
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