In high school, I was very quiet. (I know hard to believe, right?)
I wasn't popular. (Even though, at the time, my older brother insisted that I could be with that crowd if I wanted. He did run around with the popular crowd, and I think he was disappointed that I could care less.)
I was just happy with my little group of friends. The four of us did everything together!
I spent many, many hours over at Erin's house.
Her parents graciously opened their door to me time, after time, after time.
I would watch Erin and her dad interact. They had a playfulness between them that I didn't understand. Not having a true relationship with my dad made theirs intriguing to me. Dale had a quietness about him, but then, unexpectedly, he would do something to catch us off guard and make us laugh.
Back then, I didn't know the impact spending time with Erin's family would have on my life. When I graduated, Dale told me that he and Gail had always planned on having more kids in their family, he just didn't know I would come in the form of a high schooler.
When my mom died, Dale and Gail truly took on the role of being surrogate parents to me. They helped me find my first new car and helped with my wedding. They have given me advice when I needed it the most. But most importantly, they were there when my boys were born and have become grandparents to them.
Now days, Papa Dale chases my boys around. He still has a quietness about him... just not so much when my kids are involved.
Happy Father's Day Papa Dale! Thank you for showing what it truly means to have a dad!