The Thank You Letter My Step-Dad Deserves

The Thank You Letter My Step-Dad Deserves

Family doesn’t always flow through our veins, but instead lives in our hearts
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To My Step-Dad,

Thank You.

Thank you for never trying to be my father, or to replace him, but instead for fostering friendship and giving me advice and constructive criticism when I so sorely needed it.

Thank You for not hating me when I did nothing but hate you. I was hurt and sad and I felt like no one would ever understand what it meant to have their family torn apart. Except you did understand, even when I didn’t realize it. You didn’t push, you supported me and you worked to be my friend, my confidant, someone I knew I could call.

Thank you for treating my mom the way she deserves to be treated, for elevating each of our personalities and accepting them. Thank you for teaching me about love, selflessness and how to be a friend.

Thank you for reminding me that we should work hard for the things we want, but to take time off for the things that matter.

Thank you for taking time off for me. For driving to help me hang photos in my first apartment, for the times you hear me complain, and how you know exactly what to do to fix those problems. Thank you for not just listening to me, but for hearing me. Even if I talk for hours.

Thank you for not judging me by my mistakes, my shortcomings and my failures and instead by the ways I recover from them.

Thank you for being my second dad, even when I was certain I would never need one. Thank you for never making me choose.

Thank you for the ways you respect my memories, for your interest in our life before you were part of it. Thank you for sharing your past with us. Our lives didn’t start seven years ago when you started dating our mom, thank you for not acting like it.

Thank you for your sacrifices, for your laugh, for your new perspective. Thank you for connecting with my brother when I couldn’t. Thank you for loving our mother when she needed it most.

Thank you for taking our broken family and being really, really good with superglue. We are seamless now, we are happy again, we laugh and we are friends.

Thank you for making family mean "home" again.

The thing is, I got lucky. I got really lucky, I have a step dad who loves me like a daughter, jokes with me like a friend and reminds me what kind of love I want when I am older.

Thank you for being my parent when you didn’t mean to and for teaching me that love is friendship and laughs, that it’s being goofy and thoughtful. It’s putting people around you first, even if they don’t always deserve it. Thank you for showing me that you never need to yell to be heard, that listening is more important that talking and that we always have family to turn to; family doesn’t always flow through our veins, it lives in our hearts.

Thank You.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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To That One Friend Who Deserves The World

Since I can't give you the world, I hope giving you this article is enough.
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My wonderful friend,

You deserve love.

You deserve to marry your best friend.

You deserve appreciation.

You deserve that no matter who comes in and out of your life, every selfless thing you do for someone is acknowledged.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You deserve kindness.

You deserve to have the nicest people in the world surround you all of the time.

You deserve support.

You deserve to have someone there for you at the beginning of every good day and at the end of every bad one, to have someone who wants to fix all of your problems.

You deserve hope.

You deserve to always be optimistic.

You deserve laughter.

You deserve to never stop smiling and actually mean it every time you do.

You deserve forgiveness.

You deserve to be able to be given second chances because without a doubt you are worth it.

You deserve friendship.

You deserve to have a friend who can be just as good of a friend as you are.

You deserve honesty.

You deserve to always be told the truth.

You deserve motivation.

You deserve to never want to give up and always push yourself.

You deserve success.

You deserve to have everything you have worked so hard for.

You deserve faith.

You deserve to always know it will get better.

You deserve loyalty.

You deserve to have that one person who will never leave and always be there for you.

You deserve happiness.

You deserve to be genuinely content with your life.

You deserve the world.

If I could give it to you, I would.

Yes, life gets tough sometimes. The unthinkable happens and your world feels like it is crashing down but you can get past all of this.

Thank you for being so selfless. It amazes me how you do it sometimes, but thank you for always making everyone your main priority when they need you.

I know I may not say it enough, but truly thank you for all you do for me. I don’t always know how to show how much someone means to me, especially when it is someone as great as you because I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but thank you.

I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Spence

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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