Children in eleven U.S. cities are giving moving tributes to their fathers as they read their prize-winning essays during Father of the Year celebration events. Each essay has a story behind it, and Haley Hubbard, a 12th grader from Tulsa, brought the entire audience to tears as she stood with her stepfather and read this essay:
What My Father Means To Me
My stepfather became my father when I was eight years old. My real father had died of cancer when I was six years old. My family was broken and needed healing. The Lord blessed us with my new father, Mark. He was like an angel sent from God. He too had lost his father when he was young, and he knew what my brothers and I were going through. He comforted us and gave us strength to continue.
When I was eleven I was diagnosed with cancer. My family was devastated, just when we thought all of the turmoil was over we realized it was only the beginning. The doctors decided I needed a bone marrow transplant. My stepfather Mark was a perfect match and offered to give his bone marrow to save my life, but a better match was found. My new father had only been a member of our family for a few years when his love and support was put to the extreme. He stayed and took care of me as long as time allowed before he had to return home for work. We became so close during this time that it is impossible to describe.
A father doesn’t have to be someone who is biologically related to you. It is someone who would do anything for you and loves you with all of his heart and self. I pray that my father and I will remain this close throughout all of our lives and that we will only grow closer as time passes.