Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life Lessons: He would be her daddy

This is a really special guest post from my sister, Jillian, written the night after we spent the morning trying to help clean out my dad's basement.

Before I was his, he had a life. He had only one daughter, one family.

Then there was me.

I always had felt out of place when standing beside my father's side of the family. I think the way I felt was unavoidable -- I didn't necessarily feel unwanted, just different. I was so very different from everyone; I had light brown hair and blue eyes, and I was tall, all of which was very different from my Italian relatives. Although I knew my dad's family loved me, there was always that part of me that felt left out.

Well, until today.

One simple thing can make you feel special. Just one.

My sister and I had the opportunity to look through my father's stuff today, pick and choose what we wanted, keep part of him with us that was material.

We found pictures, writings, and odd and ends.

And I found two wallets.

I was overjoyed -- one for my sister, and one for me. I chose the wallet I kept for a specific reason; I was in it. I was 15 months old to be exact(as my age was written in my sister's handwriting on the back of the picture).

I was so happy my dad carried and kept a picture of me. It didn't even matter when he had the wallet. At first, I didn't even care how old it was -- until I saw papers in his wallet, at least. Receipts. There was about 20 of them, each repeating the year: 1991.

I thought to myself that it didn't make sense. Because my dad wasn't "my dad" until I was 3 year old, you see. And I didn't turn three until 1992.

I began to put two and two together.

He thought of me as his long before he called me his daughter --long before I called him daddy.

I was always his daughter. Always.

He used to tell me that, but it means the world to me just to see a picture of me at 15 months old in his wallet in 1991 before I officially ever could call him daddy.
My dad considered me his daughter before I even muttered the word.
I always thought I chose him to be my dad just by calling him my father.

But no. He chose me. He chose to love me and love me he did.

He loved me until he couldn't love me anymore.

I believe the day I was born he loved me, not just because I was his {biological} daughter's sister but because one day he would become the most important man in this little girl's life.

I miss my dad.

It takes a special man to adopt a child for whom he doesn't have any obligation. It takes a really big heart and a really big love. My dad loved my sister just as he loved me. I learned a lot about love and family beyond blood through their relationship.


  1. How absolutely beautiful and what a gift you received after his passing.

  2. Tears... so many tears! :)
    What an amazing family, and amazing man and amazing bonds. That kind of love renders me speechless. Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Jillian, that was beautiful! Thank you for sharing. You are often in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could have met you before my move, hopefully sometime in the future.

  4. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. There are tears in my eyes...

  5. I have wanted to come and read this post for days but never got here. I wanted to wait to come when I had the emotional strength to read what I knew would tug at every single one of my heart strings.

    Thank you {and your sister} for sharing this! Your dad seems like an amazing man! Someday, I will tell you on how many separate levels this story touched me...

  6. Thank you ladies, very much. I appreciate the kind words, the support, and the prayers you have given to our family during this time.

  7. Thank you ladies very much for the support and prayers that you have given our family through this terrible time. I apprecaite the kind words you have posted on here.


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