He Didn’t Have to Be

I know Father’s Day has come and gone this year, but my friend Lori had the greatest Father’s Day story I have ever heard.  She gave me permission to share.  Her story starts with one of BradPaisley’s songs, titled “He Didn’t Have to Be”.  This is the song:

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
It always winds up feeling more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she’d ever meet someone
Who wouldn’t find out about me and then turn around and run

I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old
He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed
I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she’d say yes

And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something’s missing
To a family
Lookin’ back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

I met the girl that’s now my wife about three years ago
We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin’ more
Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends
Crowded ’round the nursery window as they bring the baby in

And now all of a sudden
It seemed so strange to me
How we’ve gone from something’s missing
To a family
Lookin’ through the glass I think about the man
That’s standin’ next to me
And I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Lookin’ back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Yeah, I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be
Because he didn’t have to be
You know he didn’t have to be

Lori told me that this song is near and dear to her heart, because it makes her think of her Dad and her own circumstances.  Everytime she hears the song on the radio, she calls him and they share a special moment.

Last Friday (two days before Father’s Day) she went out to eat with her parents.  Afterwards, out of nowhere, she had an urge to go to Goodwill.  She told me, “I never go to Goodwill.”  When she got there, she browsed the aisles and ended up by the books.  Again, she said to me, “I don’t read, so I never look at books.”  But she found herself by the books that evening and she saw the front cover of a book with a picture that reminded her of the song, so she was drawn to it and picked it up.  This is what she picked up:

Yes, that is a book written by Brad Paisley.  She flipped through the book, and much to her surprise, the book included a CD of the song and was autographed by both writers, Brad Paisley and Kelly Lovelace. 

To give you an even deeper picture of this story, Lori recently found out that her real father, whom she had never met, recently passed away.  She will now never get to meet him or know what he was like.  She was worried about asking about her father, because she loves her “Dad” very much and didn’t want him to feel that she loved him any less.  Did her Dad doubt her feelings for him?  I would like to think not, but only he knows that answer.  Now here it was, two days before Father’s Day and she found the perfect gift to give her Dad – an autographed book of the special song that they share.  A reminder that no matter how curious she is about her Father, her Dad was still her DAD and would forever be special to her.  Tears welled up in my eyes as she told me about this special find. 

Do you believe things happen for a reason?  I do.  I bet Lori does too.

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