This story was first written and posted on our son's BLOG which is HolyCoast.com on June 17, 2007. Rick was traveling in New York City with his daughter's high school orchestra and I was keeping his BLOG alive by adding a post or two during his absence. A slight update and here it is for this Father's Day 2008.
Today is the day that we, as a nation, honor our fathers. Being one of those fathers makes me very proud to be known as Rick and Brenda's dad. God has entrusted Ann and I with their lives to bring them to adulthood so they too can experience the joys of families of their own.
Rick and Anne are blessed with two children which are nearly raised to adulthood themselves. Emily is 19 and a second year college student in Sonoma State University. Eric is 17 and will be a senior in Mission Viejo High School this coming fall. Brenda married Scott and together they have two girls. Hannah is 11 and moving to Middle School in the fall starting in the 6th grade. Rachel is 9 and will be in the 4th grade this school year. We are indeed very fortunate as a family for what God has entrusted us to do.
Not all families are made up as neatly as this. Some have lost a parent at an early age and didn't have the opportunity to have the "traditional" family through their childhood. I'm one of those. My father passed away at an early age (31 years old in 1940) when I was only 6. There were four children and one more on the way (born two months later) when this tragedy happened to our family. I do not remember my dad.
I consider myself fortunate to have not one but four fathers. My second dad was my grandfather who stepped in to keep the five children in the Moore family when foster care was evident. My older brother (Ben) and I went to live with our grandparents in Ohio AFTER they had 12 children of their own, raising 11 to adulthood. Here's two more to take care of now! But they never hesitated and we didn't suffer in the process. We lived with them from 1942 to 1949. My siblings (Faye, Bob & Lenna) went to live with aunts and uncles in our family.
In the summer of 1949, Ben left our grandparent's home to live with our mother in Indiana. Our grandmother became ill and I needed another place to call home for my last three years of high school. Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith, along with their daughter (Kathy - age 18 months) from Kansas City, visited his parents and on the way home discussed the possibility of having me come to live with them. Enter dad number three. I moved there within a week and started a whole new life. It was there that I met Ann who eventually became my wife of 53 years now. Uncle Ray passed away in January of 2007 and I will be forever grateful for his help in my teen years.
Dad number four was Bob Edwards, Ann's dad. If ever there was a father-in-law and a son-in-law that got along, it was us. He was the kind of person that you loved being around and always gave you his full attention. Ann and I were married after my junior year of college and Rick was on his way shortly. It appeared that I would have to drop out of my last year of college and support my family but Bob Edwards offered to pay for the college expenses if I would support my family. So I owe him big time for helping me get my college degree which was essential in my working career.
I have been fortunate even though I didn't have the "traditional" family. God has blessed me and my family even though we experienced the death of my father very early in life. God doesn't cause bad things to happen but does use those experiences for good. My life would have been very different had my father lived. But since he didn't, God put others in my life to help me and show me a father's love and guidance. "And I know that all things work together for good to them that love god, to them who are called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28 KJV.
I'm very proud of my family - can you tell? Happy Father's Day, Rick and Scott! Thanks for allowing me to have the grandchildren I have to enjoy.