This post is going to rub some folks the wrong way. Frankly ladies, for my 12th, 24th, 36th, and now 48th birthdays, the United States paused to honor all mothers, grandmothers, Auntie-Moms, and mother figures. However ladies, we have an opportunity to honor the men, the fathers and especially the men who ‘Stepped Up” to raise children, grandchildren, other folks children, or mentor youth.
When my brother was one, and I was ten years old, God called my father home to rest. It was probably one of the most devastating events in my life, and especially for my young mother. She was not supposed to be a widow at 33 years old. 27 years later, in 2008, I watched my best friend experience the same thing as she laid to rest her husband. Internally I was like AGAIN??!! God WHY??
But out of the trauma, the pain, the anger, and the grief, I watched real men step up and support my mother, my brother, my best friend, my goddaughter, and yes even me. First and foremost, my late grandfather became the father figure we needed to get us through those tough times. I was blessed to have five father figures mentor and guide me from teenage years to college years to my professional career. Likewise, my best friend had her father, her father-in-law, her grandfathers, uncles, and cousins place a shield of protection around her and my goddaughter, right up to her daughters graduation party this year. For me, that was incredible to watch and witness. Talk about STEPPING UP??? But most notably, I write this post to truly bring to light the men who STEPPED UP in relationships and marriages,, especially when the child belonged to the person they dated and eventually married. Thirteen years ago I met a pastor (now deceased) who told me his story of how he dated a woman and eventually married with NINE children( 8 girls, 1 son) plus he fathered two children from a previous marriage. I was like WHAT???!!! He loved each of the 11 children, spent time with each of them, attended PTA meetings, ran revivals, helped with homework, and yes washed his wife’s car, wined and dined her, and loved her dearly until their untimely demise in 2010. Here I got one daughter and was like nobody is going to be interested in a single mama working four jobs?
Ladies, do you think it can happen? Do you believe that every man is NOT capable of being a good father, role model, husband material, etc.? My answer is simple and complicated but FACTUAL! For every poor choice or in some case, lousy life experiences we have lived through, some men have been through just as much and are willing to give us a chance to prove us wrong. I learned this in 2012 when I met my then “beau” who has since become my husband. Through the actions of my husband, the term "Stepping Up" has a whole new definition in 2019. There are men who are willing to put up with your BS, your insecurities, your past, your pain, your mama drama, your job, your career, your family members, and YES your children to love you and them the way Joseph in the Bible loved Mary and Jesus ( factual evidence from the Bible). Joseph loved a woman who got pregnant while he was engaged to her, questioned the very existence of how she became pregnant, married her, helped deliver the child in a barn, fled to another country to save this child from the hands of a murdering King. WOW! Some men are willing to step up to the plate and confuse the heck out of us complicated women to show us a better way of parenting.
I recently saw a Facebook post that drove me to this quote: “I am NOT the Step Father, I am the Father who stepped up!” Ladies and Gentlemen, let us honor and salute the men who have and continue to step up every day raising children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, godchildren, foster children who may not be theirs, but love them as they came from their loins.
This post is dedicated to: Major E. Collins, Founder of DadsBeonDuty