Monday, September 2, 2013


I have always considered myself an open book. I have a tendency of telling people way too much when I first meet them, then I silently panic and shut down. I can talk to anyone about anything. I love to talk - I get that from my mom. 

Anyway, I try to stay away from getting TOO personal on my blog, especially when it is about someone else but I feel like I need to write. So I am.

My step-dad, Doug, had a stroke last week.

I'm not going to lie -- it hasn't sunk in really. I met my mom and Doug at the ER on Thursday when he was initially seen. The doctor was certain it wasn't his heart and it was a severe case of vertigo.

Friday, I spoke to Doug and he sounded good. Back to normal. 

Saturday, I spoke to him again and he sounded ok. I told him we would be by to see him later that day. When we pulled up I saw the ambulance and Vincent could barely stop the car before I was running across the yard. Doug looked terrible. He was completely grey, moaning, and sweating very badly. 

Seeing someone you turn to for strength, comfort, and humor be so helpless and in so much pain.... It knocks the wind out of you. 

It was the first time I saw my mom worried. Which scared me. 

My mom is the strongest person I know. We are a lot alike in that we tend to be very level headed and calm in horrible situations. To see her worry and tear up scared me. 

At the ER, we were all cutting jokes and telling funny stories to pass time while Doug was getting an MRI. It's how we cope. 

The whole night, we made the best of it. Vincent and I went and got Doug some red popsicles because he had been bugging the nurses all night. We watched the Braves beat the Marlins in extra innings. If you were an outsider looking in, it was a very.... jovial scene.

Tonight it hit me. 

I almost lost another dad. 

If you don't know, in 2000 my dad passed away of a heart attack suddenly at the age of 46. I was ten. My mom married Doug in 2009, and he has been the father figure I have been praying for since I lost my dad. 

I sit here and I keep praying over and over -- God, please protect him. Please don't do this to us again. We just got him. Please don't take him away. 

I can't lose Doug. 

Six years ago, I would have never guessed this man would become such a pivotal part of our lives. Six years ago, I wasn't ready for someone like him. Six years ago, God put this man in my mother's life for a reason. 

I can't lose him.

He has become a father to not only my sister and me, but to my husband as well.  He has become an important member of our entire family. He has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. 

He is my sounding board. 
He is my personal comedian.
He is my protector and friend. 
He is my dad.

I truly believe that it was intended for me to have two fathers. (for those who know me, this is big. I don't throw "family titles" around lightly). He will never replace my father and he has never tried too. He respects my dad but loves us as his own. 

I like to consider myself a strong person. When Vincent was in his accident, I broke down for about 10 minutes, then I pulled it together and pushed forward. I try to be very practical, realistic, and, when possible, optimistic. 

Tonight, I am tired. 

I am tired of being strong.
I am tired of being practical.
I am tired of being realistic.
I am tired.

With all of my being, I believe Doug will be ok. Every time I pray, I feel peace. But tonight, I am a scared little girl, who wants her step-dad to come hug her and tell her it will be ok.

Until then, I will be strong. I will have faith. I will trust in God's timing. And I will keep praying. I know God did not put Doug in my life for us to only have him for 6 years. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

"Those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31

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