I taped pictures of Mallory's deceased great-grandparents in the front of her baby book. On the page with their picture I have written as much about them as I can think of. I did it so that when she is grown she can read it and then hopefully feel connected to them in some way.
My paternal grandfather died before Mallory was born. He died before I married Matthew. In so many ways, for me, he was dead before he died. I did not know him. I mean I had met him but only a handful of times and it was always one of those things where I couldn't wait until my Mom and Dad called me to get into the car.
But that's not why I didn't write anything about him in the book. I don't have any of my own memories about my great-grandparents, but I wrote down some of the memories my mom has shared with me. The thing is when it comes to my paternal grandfather there don't seem to be any fun stories. He was not a good man. He was not a good husband. He was not a good father. He was not.
In the movie The Breakfast Club Alley Sheedy's character says that we all become our parents. "It is inevitable," she declares. Think about it. You are so your mom (or your dad, whatever). So when a boy is raised in a hostile environment by a man that exemplifies everything you pray your daughter never ends up with, what chance does he have to become a good man?
It is my strong opinion that good men don't just happen. Sweat, tears and prayers are poured into boys and even after all of our hard work, it is by God's grace alone that they become good men. Which is the saving grace for boys like my father. God sees them. His compassion and love for them is overwhelming. And because my father was in God's heart before he even knew who God was, he was saved from "the inevitable."
In the same way that God sent my parents to help all my adoptive siblings, He sent people into my dad's life. Not foster or adoptive parents, but men that guided him and gave him a safe place to go when he needed to escape.
This is what I thought of tonight when Sandra Bullock gave her acceptance speech at the Oscars. I thought of the people that God sent into my father's life. People who were used by God to help my father become the great man he is.
I could go on about the importance of a good father when it comes to raising a little girl but they are telling me to wrap it up. So to my parents and all the people that intervened in their lives, thank you.