When Kerry and I met some thirty-four years ago, we were both out of marriages and looking to re-establish our lives. I did not have children in my first marriage. Needless to say, I was not familiar with what being a dad encompassed.
Was I in for the surprise of my life!
The day I confidently came to Kerry’s door to pick her up for a date, I was met by a skeptical and perhaps somewhat angry eleven-year-old girl. She was the protector, the guard at the door of this man who wanted to date her mom.
That was the beginning of the creation of the family I never knew. After months of dating, Kerry knew I was the one for her. Being in my ego of self-importance I did not see what she saw. It’s a long story but let me say that we were married after I came to my senses.
Nikki was and always will be precious to me. She was a beautiful young woman at eleven and continues to amaze me with her knowing, insight, creativity, persistence, and love.
Some of you might know the disruption, fear, and intrigue of some stranger moving into your home with your mom. I was that guy.
I decided early on that I could not replace Nikki’s biological dad but I could be the best role model, supporter of her best self and deepen my love for her as we lived our life together.
I never considered myself her step-dad. I decided to be the best father I could be to her.
Those of you who are in this position know what I’m talking about. You are the parent which for us has lasted thirty-four years.