Out of the River, Onto the Raft – My Two Dads – Part 2

My Two Dads Part 1

I’ve divided the rest of the book into 5 parts: An All About Me, Meet my Mom of the Last 3 Years, Unveiling the Mirror of My Life, My Relationship with my Mom before August 2016, and Lessons I Learned Along the Way.

Mr. Duke

About 30 years ago, I started attending Clayton UMC. The Dukes had begun attending the church. I didn’t know that Paul and Shelly would become an essential part of my life.

Shelly became the pastor of the church in 1990 or 1991. Paul was my youth leader. Can I tell you how appreciative that he continues to be in my life after dealing with my teenage hormonal self? I know I wasn’t the easiest to deal with while I was in my teens. I was extremely talkative and annoying. I let people know that I was around. He never stopped loving me even when I know I was not lovable.

He taught me about my faith. Because of him, my faith has been strengthened. I also observed how he was with his two sons, Doug and Chris, and learned how a real dad should act.

Whenever I hear Opposites Attract and Promise of a New Day by Paula Abdul, I think of my years in the youth group. I introduced him to her music, and he fell in love with her for the next 15ish years.

When I was installed as Worthy Advisor of Rainbow, he was there to support me as though he was my dad. I am forever grateful for his support.

After the Goofy One and I had dated for a year, I took him to meet the Dukes. I wanted their seal of approval even though I didn’t really need it. Both Paul and Shelly approved of him.

I visit with Paul and Shelly once or twice a year. They treat me like a daughter when I come to their house. So, the feeling of a father – daughter relationship is evident to me. They welcome the boys and The Goofy One with open arms to assure we feel as though we are loved and wanted. I love visiting with them.

Paul and Shelly made sure to come to Tatiana’s celebration of life, and if Paul wasn’t getting over shingles, he would have been at my mom’s funeral.

I could babble on and on about how valuable Paul is to me. I am fortunate that God saw that I needed not only a hero, my grandpa but also a dad, Paul.

Thank you, God, for bringing these two men to my life during times that I needed someone to step up to teach me how a man should treat a woman.

Thank you for sending these men to teach me about how to have faith as small as a mustard seed.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in training and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4

Thank you for sending me these men to show me the value of hard work.

Thank you, God, for their unconditional love for me.

God knew that I needed positive male role models in my life. I had been mistreated by the one who had given me life. The one whose job it was to raise me and to teach me how a woman is supposed to be treated.

I’ll be forever grateful for these two men.

We have one more stop on this part of the river before we change course. This last stop shows you how I cope with the stresses and joys of daily life. When I want to “escape” and not drown, I will listen to music. The music I listen to changes daily. Somedays I want to rock out to the familiar P!nk songs while other days I am in a more Christian mood. I can’t sing, play an instrument, or dance but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy music and admire those who are musically talented. It’s just something that I was not gifted with from God.

To be continued . . .

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