Photo: Lynsey Vanstory at her wedding with her two fathers.
By Lynsey Vanstory
I want to tell you about the man that raised me. No, he is not my biological father. His name is Darrell and he married my mom when I was 2 years old. I have a sister that is 11 months older than me and he had a son when they married. We were the typical blended family. My siblings and I grew up arguing, as most do.
My biological father was an alcoholic my entire childhood. He has now been sober for 13 years! (I am 28 years old). That being said, because of his disease, he missed out on most of mine and my sister’s childhood. Darrell was always there to pick up the pieces. He loved us like we were his own, and disciplined us as were his own. He never showed any favoritism towards his biological children over us. In his eyes we were his, and in our eyes he was ours.
There were many weekends that our Dad was supposed to come pick us up to spend the weekend with him, but he wouldn’t come. Darrell was there to wipe the tears from the faces of two girls who didn’t understand what was going on at the time. He never once talked down to us about our Dad or tried to take his place or push him out. He was always very neutral, but looking back on it now, I realize that he was just doing what a great man does, picking up the pieces.
My mom and Darrell got a divorce when I was in high school. At the time I felt like my entire world had come crashing down. Throughout the process there weren’t any harsh or rude words spoken from either of them. After he and my mom divorced, he could have dropped all ties to me and my sister because he didn’t have any responsibility for us any longer, but he didn’t. Darrell continued to attend every softball game that I had, every school event and sporting event. He was my biggest supporter and number 1 fan.
During those passing years, I had repaired my relationship with my Dad, but Darrell was still always there for me. The time had come for me to get married and of course nothing seemed more fitting than for him and my Dad to walk me down the aisle. He is now a blessed granddad of 5 grands. Only 3 of them have his actual blood, but they are all the same in his eyes.
He is the greatest man in the entire world. He is humble, considerate, kind, and the list could go on and on. I don’t have enough words to explain what he means to me and my family and how blessed I am to have had him help raise me and to now help guide me through the difficult times of adulthood. He is most certainly one of a kind and a friend to all. God knew exactly what he was doing when he put him in our life. Now for Fathers’ Day, I am blessed to have two amazing dads that I get to celebrate.