|Daddy with his girls|
|John with me & my sister|
Nine very difficult years later, John Cox, my stepfather, came into our lives. The thing about John was, he never tried to replace my father. He knew how much we all (including my mother) missed him, even nine years later, what kind of man my father had been. He gave us all a safe, stable place to be ourselves. I will be the first to say, I was not the easiest kid to live with! I resented having to share my mother with him. I tested him and refused to call him "my stepfather" for years. I referred to him as "my mother's husband." But John never pushed. He respected me and gave me lots and lots of room. Most importantly, he healed my mother. He made her happy in a way my sister and I simply could not. This would be something I would come to greatly appreciate several years later after I went away to college. One of my best memories is coming home from college on break and just hanging out with John and my mother in the living room at night, listening to them talk. I was enveloped in a sense of safety. Years later, John and I kept vigil together as my mother lay dying, in a coma, in the hospital. I'll never forget him saying to me, "I know your father was the love of her life. I just felt honored to have know Bill Pyron through your mother. She's been the love of my life." John has been my role model of being a step-parent when I was lucky enough to marry into kids. I don't know that I've done as good a job as he did with us, but I try. I'm very, very proud to say with a great deal of respect and love that he's my stepfather.
|Madison, Brian, Shay|
|Todd, Super Dad!|
So I send this tribute with great love and respect to all the dads--living and not, biological and otherwise--that made us who we are. Happy Father's Day, Daddy, John, and Todd.