Today, I sit in the backseat of my father’s truck, listening to 80’s music and feeling nostalgic. Reminiscing about a time when I thought my dad was the strongest person in the world.
I still think he’s strong. I no longer live with the childlike illusion that he can beat Rocky Balboa in a boxing match, but I think he’s one of the strongest men I know.
It’s not very often that I am in the backseat of one of my parents’ cars, but today we are on a road trip to a little town called Mulberry Kansas, population 519. A tiny, quaint, little place where everyone truly does know everybody else. I wish it were under better circumstances.
Today we are burying my grandmother, my daddy’s mommy. This father of mine is a rock. He is my rock. One hour into the trip and he is only concerned about the comfort and well-being of his passengers, his family.
A few days ago, I got the call that Grandma had passed. We knew it was coming, but nobody is ever prepared. I heard my father cry for the first time. All these years, many life experiences, and this is the first time in my entire life that I have ever seen the man break. If you can even call it breaking. It was brief, the crack in his steady disposition over before I could even blink. Before I could even register it, he was back to rock mode. I suppose twenty years in the military followed by twenty as a cop will make you tough. I wish I were half as tough as him.
Sitting in this back seat of a Ford F150, I have been pondering life events. God events. How everything came to be how it is, and how God steps in and even in unlikely circumstances, and gives you exactly what you need. God gave me this daddy.
My father is not my biological father. He married my mother after a whirlwind romance of about six weeks. They are still together to this day, even after everybody else told them it would never work. I was six months old. He took me as his own, gave me a home, his name, and his heart.
One of my favorite stories is of him coming to pick up my mother for a date, and bringing flowers. When she exclaimed that they were beautiful and thanked him, he told her they were for Nay Nay. That’s me, and that is the story of how I came to be known as Nay. I love it.
My first flowers were from this man, that I never knew was not my real father, until I found out by accident at seventeen years old. My parents never wanted me to know, never planned on me knowing, and as far as they were concerned, I was his. And I am. But I was a nosy teenager, and after realizing that certain dates didn’t match up right, they sat me down in my bedroom and told me the truth. I honestly thought my world exploded. I was hurt that they hid it from me, I felt lied to, and I rebelled. I said and did things in my seventeen year old mind frame, that I still regret to this day. But, as I said before, my dad is a rock. I am his, and nothing I did or would say would ever change this.
God gave me my dad. Without going into too much detail, I learned years later who my bio father was. He was not a good person. I am very fortunate that God decided to give me a better parent, a man who would love me, provide for me, encourage me and dote on me. God gave me my dad.
I grew up daddy’s little girl, never knowing that I was anything other than 100% my father’s daughter. I have green eyes, flat feet, a love of old movies, a love of food, and my ability to draw, all from him. I know now that I did not inherit these traits from him genetically, but somehow I still got them. I like to think his love was so strong that it defied science. It’s amazing the things that are possible with God, and with love.
There are lucky people in this world, who are given babies the old fashioned way, and it’s beautiful. And then, there are the amazing people, who are not given a child to love. They choose a child to love. My father chose me. Me. He chose to love me, much better than any biological father would have. He chose to guide me, provide for me, to go through all the craziness that being my parent would mean. I was a tomboy, not an easy child, or an easy teenager. Strong-willed, and a challenger of anything and everything, my father chose me. Me.
I believe, as we drive to lay my grandma to rest, that I am the luckiest girl in the world. Not many people can say that their fathers chose them. He picked me. God knew what I needed, and God gave me the best daddy in the world.
If you ever decide that you are going to choose a child, instead of being given one, let me speak to you as one of the chosen ones. Only special types of people, people of genuine and pure character, can be choosers of children. And though we may not inherit your genes, trust me when I say what we get, we get it from you. Everything you give us is is the best. You are the best. You will always be, in our eyes, the best daddy, or the best mommy in the world, much better than what would have been, because you chose us.
We are the chosen ones. We are blessed. We are yours.
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. –