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For me, Christmas is always about family, reflection and showing my love for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Family is the perfect way to see Godâ€™s love for us. Itâ€™s evident in the eyes of our children, in their laughter, in the beauty that is my wife. This year has been exceptional in that regard; save the flu that has wrapped its not-so-loving arms around my youngest daughter.
What you need to read today is not my diatribe, but the words presented to me by my oldest daughter, who will be 13 in mid-March. Sheâ€™s wise beyond her years. She came into my life when she was 3 years old; she came into my heart moments after I met the vibrant little girl with an amazing personality.
She is my step-daughter, though weâ€™ve never allowed that word to interfere with our relationship. Here are her words, etched on a frame that covers a 2009 photo of her and me at a Royals game:
Some people would say youâ€™re not my real dad, but I know thatâ€™s not fully true, for youâ€™ve been a real dad to me in all the things weâ€™ve been through. Weâ€™ve had our ups and downs; sometimes itâ€™s hard to bend, but youâ€™ve always been there when Iâ€™ve needed you. And thatâ€™s what matters in the end. Iâ€™m eternally grateful to you, because youâ€™ve treated me as your own. For though weâ€™re not tied by blood, instead the love and trust youâ€™ve given me. Thatâ€™s what counts you as a real dad.