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Hello, and welcome to Lemonade Tales! Pardon the dust while I get things rolling. I hope you enjoy the stories of inspiration, courage, and grace. I am humbled by each and every person and their personal struggles. This is the …

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Anyone can be a Father, but it takes Someone Special to be a Daddy.

I don’t know my biological father. He left my life forever when I was around three years old. I only have one or two pictures of him and I don’t know much about him. What I know of him isn’t that great. He was a gambler, a drug addict, an alcoholic, and a cheater.

My mom married him when she was very young. She tried her best to make it work, but it didn’t. She left him with very little to her name and set out to make our life better on her own.

I was born in Alabama, so we made our way north. We moved a lot at that time in my life. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember my mother and I being on a bit of an adventure. We finally settled down in the Detroit area.

How I Met my Dad

She soon met a man — a man who would become her husband and would eventually become my dad. When they dated, he would sit at my mini table and drink tea with me. He would sit in a chair and I would climb up on his lap and he would read to me. He is the only man I have ever known that has been in my life as “Dad.”

Now you have to understand that he is special. He adopted me after he and my mom got married. I remember the wedding day. It was our wedding day of sorts, too. Very shortly after, my adoption was official and I remember it being a really big deal that we got to chose each other.

I remember that my name card on my desk in first grade had to change from Beverly Bradley to Beverly Cornell. The little boy next to me asked, “Did you get married?” I laughed at him and said, “No, I was adopted. He then asked innocently, “So your parents didn’t want you?” I remember getting really frustrated because I didn’t know how to explain just how special this moment was for me. I didn’t have the words then. I hope I do now.

What does a daddy do? Dads are special. They do all the “dad” things. Like, teach you how to ride a bike, coach your softball team, how to change a tire, and chase away the boys with threats of guns in the basement.

He was always there for me in the little things, like watching the Tigers win the 1984 World Series, rooting for me at every dance recital, and generally being the proud dad at teacher conferences, graduations, and for all my career advancements.

He loves my mother and showed me what true love and respect is. To this day, I want what they have. Don’t get me wrong. They have experienced their ups and downs and certainly there have been arguments. My dad is not perfect. He is very human, but he is a good man who loves my mom with all of his heart. He would do anything for her.

He has always showed me how much he loves me. My dad has helped me move countless times, helped me remodel a house, helped fixed the many broken cars I’ve owned, and has given me advice about life in general. All to make sure I am taken care of in the best way possible.

He is a man of few words when it comes to how he “feels” about you, but you always know because he shows you in his actions. He loves by taking care of you. I have learned much from this type of love.

The Stars Were Aligned?

I got really lucky when my mom found my dad. Or maybe my dad found my mom. However it happened, I am so glad they did. I don’t know many men who would take another man’s responsibility… me, as his own and never look back. I am fortunate that while growing up we didn’t have the fight, “You are not my dad” or “You are not my daughter.” I think that was mostly because it was just not possible for either of us to think that way.

Honestly, I always worried that he would one day leave like my biological father. That he would say, “What did I get myself into?” and it would be too much for him. But he never did. And I think that if I ever left he would hunt me down and find me. He is here to stay.

Every Father’s Day I think about how very grateful I am to have this honorable man in my life. I look forward to going to the Tigers game or golfing with him. Having a few hours of just daddy/daughter time. He has taught me so very much and there is nothing I can do to repay him but love him the same way he’s always loved me — unconditionally.

Lessons Learned: 
You don’t have to be blood related to be family. Love is endless and has no boundaries. A true man is one of character and commitment. Be thankful for those who love you without asking for anything in return. And the words, “I love you” are awesome to hear, but can often be felt by someone doing things for you just to make sure you are ok.

Do you have someone in your life that isn’t blood, but has become so close to you that they feel like family? Please share.

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