I asked for your tributes to fathers of children with special needs, and a submission came in last week that was particularly moving. Under the title "The Man Who Didn't Have to Be My Dad," reader Stephanie Dawn wrote:
"I met the man who is now my stepdad when I was eleven years old. I'm sure that he never imagined that he would take on the role of fathering a totally blind child with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but he has turned out to be more of a father to me than my own dad has been. I will never forget how patiently he helped me with Geometry, cutting out a shape from cardboard to help me learn in spite of my spacial struggles. He once confronted my Braille teacher, who had no understanding regarding my OCD and used fear tactics to motivate me. His gentle wisdom has taught me so much, and his sense of humor has repeatedly brought a smile to my face and laughter into my life. He didn't have to step up to the plate and be my dad, but I will be forever grateful that he did!"
Do you know a dad or grandpa of a child with special needs who deserves some public praise? Add your story to the Readers Respond page. You might also want to clip out and give him one of my Love Notes for Special Parents, like "You Have Superpowers" above.
Love Note image and text by Terri Mauro