|Dad and Maddie at Dinner|
I’m really thankful for this woman in the photo above. Her name is Maddie, and honestly I think she is one of the best things to happen to my dad. Not only that, but she has been a real blessing to my family as well.
She’s a mom of three girls, a grandmother of three, and from what I can tell, she has done a wonderful job of raising them. I’m told she is in constant contact with them, a fact my dad relays to me with a tinge of jealousy because, as he has said, it is something he would like to have with his sons. So right there, positive influence toward family. (A huge plus in my book)
Not only that, but the last few years her and my dad have been together, she has become such a welcome addition to our family. She has invited us into her life. Sure, she is with my dad, so that would be natural, but, she has done it in a way that is inviting, encouraging, and makes me feel like my family belongs as a part of hers. That takes effort, and she has shown that effort in a heart-felt way.
She has attended several of my children’s milestone moments. Graduations, band concerts, my son’s wedding. It’s not her attendance that stands out, but that she truly wants to be there for those moments. When my wife and I started taking care of my father-in-law as he battled cancer, Maddie reached out to Heather, willing to help her walk through bureaucratic red-tap, to be a listening ear, or just to encourage her.
Back in February, my wife and I went on a cruise. In a word, it was glorious. Eight days away from everything. The first vacation Heather and I have actually ever taken in our 23 years of marriage. As I have said in a previous post, it was a great chance to have some time with my dad, to talk, to play ping-pong (I totally won btw), and to just get to know him for the man that he is today.
All thanks to Maddie. (I’m sure my dad had something to do with it, but, come on, let’s be honest here, we know all that planning and what not, yeah, that was all Maddie).
Maddie, thanks for not only caring about my dad, but for caring about us too. Things like that are what set you apart from most people.