My real dad, Ross, passed away of cancer when I was just a little boy. It hurts my heart to know that I didn’t know my dad, and that I don’t remember much about him. My biggest fear about having cancer a few years back was the one question I couldn’t answer, “If I die now, will my boys even be able to remember me?” That question haunted me. I didn’t want to be the dad they never knew and never built a relationship with. I didn’t want someone else raising my sons and them calling him, “Dad!” I want to be there for the big events in their lives. I wanted to make a difference in their lives. I still wrestle with that fear today, but God has opened my eyes to some things He wanted me to see.
After my dad died, God placed a very special uncle in my life that served as a father figure for a few years. As a little boy in a house full of girls, I needed a man in my life. My Uncle Bob served that role well until he and God could find me another dad, a replacement dad. My Uncle Bob introduced my mom to a man named Lawrence. Lawrence was a widower with four children. My mom and Lawrence were married in 1972. It was then that they took two young families and made them into one happy family of nine.
It didn’t take me long as that little boy until I had replaced the name “Lawerence” with “Dad.” God knew there was a little boy out there that needed a daddy, and He found me the best one available. I haven’t called Lawrence anything but “Dad” in past 35 years. He has been my father, and I can’t imagine ever having a better dad than him. He has filled the role of father in my life all these years, and he has done it extremely well.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like for my real dad, Ross, to look at his small children and know that he wouldn’t be the one raising them anymore. That he wouldn’t be there for his children during the most important events in their lives. I can only think of the fear he must have had wondering, “Who will raise my children,” and “Will they even remember me?” I have had those very same fears. The more I think about those fears, the more I pray to my God, “Lord, if I can’t raise my own boys, please send a Lawrence into their lives as their replacement dad.” I pray to my God, “Lord, if I can’t raise my own boys, please send a
Lawrence into their lives as their replacement dad.”
I pray to my God, “Lord, if I can’t raise my own boys, please send a
For some reason, as I write this, I struggle to hold back some tears. Old scars, mixed emotions and some past fears all raise their ugly heads this morning. But as I write this, God reminds me why heaven will be so great. I’ll have two dads there. One I don’t remember that I’ll get to finally meet, and another that has blessed my life in countless ways. An eternity with two earthly fathers and one heavenly Father, you can’t get any better than that.
As Father’s Day rolls around this Sunday I’d like to pay honor to my two dads. The first one brought me into this world and left much too quickly, and the second gracefully accepted the role as father in the life of a little boy who desperately needed a dad.
Since I know my earthly dad will be reading this, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Dad, for taking on the role as father in my life. I love you very much.”
Happy Father’s Day!