A father by his own choice

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Throughout my life, I have been blessed with a stepfather. Although it wasn’t until I grew up and moved out of the house that I came to appreciate him. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without him.

My parents divorced when I was two and my stepfather, Bryan, came into my life when I was six. He was always good to me and always treated me like his own. He and my mother made it a priority that I receive the best education possible and, even when times were tough, they kept me in the best private school in Mobile.

One thing Bryan always told me was that when I went to college that I should study something that I loved, something I had a passion for, because that’s what I would have to do day in and day out for the rest of my life.

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His hard work to keep me in school and his diligence in hounding me to keep my grades up paid off. I sometimes wonder if he thinks it paid off too much because after completing my bachelor’s degree, I went straight into graduate school, and still have further plans to obtain a law degree and a Ph.D. But, at least both Bryan and my mother can feel secure in knowing they don’t have pay tuition anymore. Good thing, because now they have to pay for my brother.

But, Bryan and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye, we still don’t; but I always swore I would never be anything like him. But now, I thank God everyday that I am.

He taught me patience, he taught me to work hard and he taught me to &uot;do things right the first time so you don’t have to do it again.&uot;

I thank him for all of that, but mostly, I thank him for loving my mother and me. I have always admired him for marrying her even though she had a six-year-old child. He had no children of his own at that time, and had to learn how to deal with a stubborn, hardheaded little girl.

I enjoy him now more than I ever have in my life and I appreciate his ways now in a way that I never could as a child. I even laugh at his jokes.

So, I thank you, Bryan, for all of the love, patience and caring that you have always given me. And I’m here, everyday working on something that I am passionate about. That is the best lesson you have ever taught me. Happy Father’s Day.