Yesterday I went to a friend's wedding to go and support the union of two people. I wanted to go and smile and be happy for my friend and instead found myself crying and being happy for my friend. I was fine until I saw her walk down the stairs with her little girl who is a few months younger then Cooper...that was when the water works came.
"And then all of the sudden oh it seemed so strange to me how we went from something's missing to a family..."
I was quickly flashing back to my own wedding 19 months ago when my son who was almost 11 months and I became a family with John and Jaylyn who was 8 at the time. With Jaylyn I knew I would be taking a stepmom roll since she has a very active Mother and Father in her life; I became more of a bonus parent. But with Cooper, John knew he would be taking the Father roll in his life and was 100% prepared to do that.
With our family starting I had a different kind of love for John then many wives get to experience-I got to watch John love the thing in the world I loved the most (until I met my husband and stepdaughter) as if Cooper was his own. He wasn't required to do this, he wanted to do this.
As I watched my friend walk with her daughter I cried for her out of happiness-because I know from experience that God has a way of making your toughest times quickly turn into your happiest. I knew that this was her light at the end of the tunnel and that everything was going to be okay for her and her child just like it was for me.
Later in the ceremony I watched her now husband give his new daughter a necklace after the rings were exchanged. I found myself once again bawling as I reflected on my own love for my husband, son, and stepdaughter.
Then her daughter said it, "Thank you Daddy!". So natural and sweet and once again my mom was handing me kleenexs as I thought about how we originally were teaching Cooper to call John by his first name and how he quickly rejected this idea and instead called him dat, then dada, and now Daddy. Proving to us that you can't tell a child what to call a person or what a person is to them...a child knows in their heart.
After I was done with my crying fest I enjoyed one of the best wedding dessert receptions I have ever seen and spent some time with my best friend who is moving back to Birmingham.
Once I got in the car I quickly called John...anxious to remind him that I love him. And to let him know I'm thankful. Thankful that he gave me my family, thankful he put Jaylyn in my life, thankful he gave Cooper a real Dad, and thankful that he is the Dad that he didn't have to be.
(My quote is from Brad Paisley's song "He Didn't Have to Be")