Posted by: thecoloradan | May 8, 2012


Friday is my stepdad’s birthday. And I want to share something about him that people who know him may not realize. He is one of the most patient and kind people I’ve ever met. He’d have to be to wait, oh, I’d say about 10 years for me to stop being such a brat and holding everything against him. To wait for me to realize that he was not the reason my “life sucked” (which by the way, it didn’t. But that’s what teenage girls think).  Let me explain.

My parents divorced when I was three years old. I was so young, I can’t even remember a time when they weren’t apart. I was also really young whenever Patrick entered the picture. To be honest, I don’t remember much from that time- who really does? I remember things from pictures. I have a picture of Patrick teaching me how to ride my pink bike. I have random memories- not being able to pronounce his name, him “flying” me down our long hallway. But not much else. When I was almost 8, mama and Patrick got married. I remember that. I was so excited- I was the flower girl. I still have the basket.  I remember being happy about it.

Anyway, I don’t know when it was exactly, but at some point, I decided I just wasn’t having this whole “step dad” thing. I think it was around the time we moved from Texas to Oklahoma. Yep, that had to be it. It was all his fault. I blamed him for “ruining my life!” because HE moved me from all my friends (none of whom I kept in touch with so that obviously wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be). HE moved me to this stupid town where there was nothing to do. HE did it! But of course, when things started to look up, when I secretly started liking the place, I didn’t give him any credit. I didn’t care that we were so much better off financially in Oklahoma. That mom seemed happy and was making friends. I was just so very angry at him. It’s funny what you do remember- the things that stick with you. We’d had a fight. I was probably 15 or 16. And he looked so sad and asked me “Dani, why do you hate me so much?” I just stood there and stared at him for a minute, and then quickly said “I don’t hate you” and stormed to my room. I’m sure I slammed my door, I always did that. And it wasn’t until much later that I realized, that I finally put it together and it still haunts me: I treated him like I hated him. I was so horrible to him, he literally thought I hated him. But he loved me anyway.  He took care of me anyway.

I slowly started to see what my mother saw. What everyone saw. He takes care of us. He loves my mom so much- sometimes they literally gross me out with their mushiness.

He waited for me to get out of my bratty phase (I say bratty but we all know I mean another B word), for me to grow up. Eventually I did. I wrote him a letter apologizing for the way I treated him. And thanking him for moving us to Oklahoma because there are so many things I would not have without that move. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Jesus. I wouldn’t have met the girl that I consider my best friend and practically my sister. I wouldn’t have experience true love and heartbreak. I thanked him for treating my mother so well. And for loving Nate and I like his own. I hope he knows now how much he means to me and how much I love him. And now you all know how patient and kind he is.




  1. What a share, Dani. I also remember ALL those years. But I never thought you hated Patrick. I remember WAY back when your Mom and Patrick weren’t seeing each other for a while. You (very, very young) called up “Packridge” and told him to get over to your house. You missed him and wanted to see him.

    I also was sad about your move to OK — but what do you know. Here we are 4 years and 1 month living in OK. Now you’ve moved to CO. So glad that Mom and Patrick are about 1/2 mile from us and that Nate is not that far away.

    We miss you but LOVE you!!!

  2. we love you Dani
    hopefully Dad won’t come on here and tell you how his daughter acted when she was in her early teens LOL

  3. That’s the best birthday present you could have gotten me, It has been priviledge to see you grow into such beautiful, intelligent young lady I am truly blessed to have you and Nate in my life. I love you so much and miss you.

    love, patrick

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