An Open Letter to My Stepdad

An Open Letter to My Stepdad

All the things I want to say to you — honestly.
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Dear David:

First of all, I want to say I love you. I don’t feel like I ever say it enough.


It’s taken me a while to get to where I am today, and I have to thank you for most of it. A Stepdad was never a thing I thought I’d have – I had become so used to the idea of one Dad and one Mom, that any other relationship seemed inconceivable. As a seven-year-old, it didn’t really feel like I had a say in anything, including you – which, let’s face it, I didn’t. I must have thought you coming into our lives would weaken the close bond I’d formed with my Mom, and I didn’t want to lose that. I didn’t realize then that a Stepdad would make our family complete and make my Mom happy, but then again, I had probably bought into that whole Cinderella-Mean-Step-parent trope that I had associated with you.

That was the biggest mistake I think I’ve ever made, and one of my deepest regrets.

Because even though you may be stern – okay, let’s be honest, VERY stern – that doesn’t mean you’re horrible, like the Step-parent stereotype implies. You’re probably one of the kindest men I know. You didn’t HAVE to become a part of what seemed like a broken family – a single Mom and her tiny, neurotic daughter. You didn’t have to put in the effort and time and love to build a wonderful life for us, but you did. It takes a kind man to do all of that.

You’re intimidating, but in a good way. I wasn’t used to that personality; Mom is definitely very different. You really tried to be that dominating, responsible father figure that our family needed – which isn’t to say you tried to replace my Dad, but you were there for me in ways my Dad couldn’t at the time. I think, deep down, I harbored anger against you, because it felt like you were trying to be a physical replacement for him. Only with distance can I see you’ve only ever wanted the best for me and for my Mom and sister.

I think we’re the closest to a father/daughter relationship you can get. You’re the one who texts me when I’m spending too much money, being frivolous with responsibility when I need to shape up, and to remind me to respond to Mom’s texts and to yours (and I admit, I do try to avoid owning up to my faults, especially over text). You’ve almost single-handedly financed every weird medical and dental and dermatological and psychological issue I’ve dealt with since you married my Mom (and I’m sure now you look back on that money and think, wow, that could have helped with some other things), but you did that so I could be as healthy as possible. You also wouldn’t believe me when I wanted to skip school for being sick, because unless I was throwing up, then I could make it to class (and this is where I’d go crying to Mom, instead). You’re also the one who begrudgingly pays my rent each month, even though I’m (technically) an adult because you want me to focus on school and have a roof over my head. You’re the one who buys me printer ink when I’m low, pays the phone bill and doesn’t kill me when I go over the month’s data, lets me use his Amazon Prime account to ship things to my house, and moves all the heavy things around my house because I didn’t have a chance to inherit some muscle-building genes from you. You’re the one who is quietly judging the guys I date when you meet them, because you’re the ultimate deciding factor on who is worthy of being a part of my life. You’re the one who gets exasperated when I’m – well – exasperating. I’m pretty sure that’s the textbook Dad stuff.

Honestly, the more time that passes, the more I hate that prefix “Step”, as if you’re only a little responsible for my upbringing, when you’re an integral part of who I am today. Maybe in a few years I’ll still be technologically challenged and have to call you up to answer a simple tech question, or have to ask you the password for the Netflix account (because I’m still part of the family, even after I graduate college, and therefore get streaming privilegesright?), but I hope that no matter where life takes me, that you’ll always know how much I really appreciate you. You’ve supported me even when I was being an asshole ‘stepchild’, because, to you, I wasn’t a stepdaughter – I was your daughter, through and through.

You’ve loved me unconditionally, and for that, I will forever be thankful. I don’t think I can ever make up for the mistakes I’ve made in the past, for any shitty comment I’ve said to you or for any mistake I will make in the future, but I hope that from this point forward, I will remind you as often as possible how much you mean to me.

Thank you for being my Dad, sans-Step.

Your loving daughter,

Megan

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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

SEE ALSO: 51 Things My Mom Didn't Think I Was Listening To...

I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl With The Cool Mom

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Poems On Friendship

It can kill you or revive you, but whatever the case, it will change your life.

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A Poem Beginning with the Death of Caesar

Et tu, Brute?—Then fall Caesar.

[He dies.]


The stab wasn't what killed him,

no,

Caesar truly died of a broken heart.

Yes,

upon seeing his best friend involved in the conspiracy,

Caesar could no longer find the strength to live in this world.


I can't say I blame him.

A bond with a best friend,

a true best friend,

is deeper than family,

deeper than marriage.

They are your soulmate.


But that kind of relationship is a mutual thing.

It may be unspoken,

sure,

but it is mutual.


The pain of finding out a best friendship isn't mutual is unbearable.

The rejection is one thing,

but there's almost always an accompanying betrayal.


That's the real knife,

the real stab.

It twists in your heart and,

instead of blood,

makes tears flow.

And you stare at the one you loved so much,

wishing you could just disappear or die.


But you aren't Caesar,

they aren't Brutus,

and,

though the pain is there,

the knife isn't.

So you live,

wondering when the pain will end.


Still Fourteen - Beginning with a Line by Shakespeare

To me fair friend you never can be old

because you will always be fourteen,

awkward but happy-go-lucky,

with jacked-up teeth and mousy brown hair.


You knew no pain then,

not really,

and you were refreshing to my already tortured mind.

You made my dark times easier,

holding a flashlight out for me to find you,

even though you never knew what you were really doing.


Things are a little different now.

You have experienced pain and heartbreak,

despite my very best efforts to help you otherwise,

but I was there with a flashlight for you,

returning the favor.

You now know the full extent of all you did for me,

which makes it harder for me to hide my pain from you,

but I know that's for the best.


Still,

time has flown by the last eight years,

and every time I see you,

I still see the awkward fourteen-year-old in my algebra class,

asking if I want to work with her.

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