I believe there are a lot of things in life that a person has control of or influence over, but as life would have it, family is not one of them. And for that, I'm glad. I do not believe if I had the chance to choose who my mother would spend the better part of her life with; I would never have found a greater person than Robert Atkinson. He became a part of our family and looked after us girls as if we were his own. (However I am sure he had never expected to have to give up his bathroom rights, but even that would seem ok with him).
I am fortunate to have my birth father in my life, but he lives far away. A daughter would have struggled with that kind of separation, but when Robert came into our lives, even my dad knew that we girls would be looked after. No one would ever have protected and guided us the way he did.
Robert was such an influential part of my life that I will forever be blessed for having him as my step-dad. I knew that no matter what time of day or night, or if it was pouring rain or even snowing, if I needed help, he would be there. He gave me a sense of knowing that he would always be there for me, and he was.
From high-school graduation to my first job, from my wedding day to the birth of my children, he was by my side. He rejoiced in my good times, and held me in his arms during the bad times. He was forever present in the raising of my children... There is not a treasured moment in my life that he was not with me. He encouraged me in a way that it taught me to never give up. He taught me to never be judgmental of others, and to be grateful, and to enjoy family time together. But above all, he taught me to remain calm during those times of despair, because he knew that everything would work its way out and we would be okay.
Robert had a humorous side as well. He helped put smiles on our faces even when we had been crying only minutes earlier. I loved him for that.
He always let us know how much he loved us…and how very much he loved my mother. Not a day would go by that he didn't tell her how much he loved her, and how beautiful he thought she was. I knew that was a special love, and that it would only grow every day for the rest of their lives.
I thank you Lord, for Robert