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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: Beth's Wedding
By Terry Walker


Beth was truly a blushing bride if there ever was one. Until now I had thought her mother was the most beautiful bride I’d ever seen. She radiated as she took picture after picture with every relative and friend that was there. I looked at her as she took her picture with her father, and I was full of envy. There is always that something that’s missing when you are a stepfather, knowing that she wasn’t my flesh and bone saddened me this day.

Her mother asked me to give a toast from our side of the family at the reception, and I reluctantly agreed. What do I say? I decided short is the order of the day, so I’ll say something like, “Jacob welcome to the family.”

Jacob’s father was the first to give his toast, I can’t remember what he said but it was short and sweet. Next Beth’s father got up, cleared his throat and nervously said, “Jacob welcome to the family.” He got my line, think fast, what are you going to say? My wife kicked me under the table and I rose from my seat.

“Jacob, we have known you for a couple of years now and to tell the truth, we’ve never liked you. Just kidding, you are the man that her mother and I prayed for. We love your humor, your devotion to Jesus, and we see how hard working you are. Thank you for choosing our Beth.”

“Beth, what can I say? From the first day I came into your life you chose to accept me and made me feel a part of your family. I watched you grow into a very beautiful woman, but you haven’t let your outer beauty direct your life, you left that up to your inner beauty and we know that comes from your Lord. I must admit something here, I am envious of your father, I would have loved for you to be flesh of my flesh, but let me say this, I love you as if you were mine. You have found in Jacob a wonderful husband and now I’ll end with this, God’s blessings on your life together. May you be fruitful, both with children and in love.”

I sat down, embarrassed from rambling on as I did. My wife squeezed my hand and as I looked at her a tear ran down her cheek, I guess I embarrassed her too.

Afterward as the bride and groom were taking their first dance, Beth’s father walked up to me, “You know, I’ve always been envious of you. Whenever Beth came to visit she went on and on about you and what you two did together. I may have been her father, but you were her dad, and I thank you for being there for her.”

We shook hands and I told him, “Thanks, I know that wasn’t easy to say. You know, I’ve always liked you, if you weren’t my wife’s ex we’d probably be good friends.” We laughed and parted as my wife dragged me to the dance floor.

Half way through the dance, Beth cut in. As we twirled across the floor she suddenly stopped and looked up into my eyes, her’s were glistening with tears. “I am the luckiest girl. When mom and dad divorced I thought my world had come to an end. Until mom met you we cried ourselves to sleep each night. You came into our lives like a knight in shining armor and swept us away. I knew from the first day I met you that you would be my new daddy. You completed us, you made us a family again. I can’t imagine life without you having touched mine. Thank you for choosing me, and letting me into your life. When I first met Jacob, I knew he was the one I was going to marry because I saw so much of you in him.”

And that dear Beth is the greatest compliment that you could give me.

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This article has been read 628 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/18/08
What a wonderful step-dad you are, and that's a great approach to this week's topic.

I'd caution you against opening with a cliche (blushing bride). There are so many other ways you could describe a bride, and you want to hook your reader with something they've never read before.
Corinne Smelker 04/18/08
Apart from the 'blushing bride' as Jan pointed out, this was awesome! You made me cry, and almost wish I had a step-dad!

I don't think you will be hanging around the beginner's section for long...
Leticia Caroccio04/18/08
Is this a true story? True or not, it was really good. You capture the stepfather's inner struggle and made it real. I felt the knots in my stomach as he struggled to think of the appropriate words to speak. It felt real. Good job.
Debbie Wistrom04/18/08
Now you have gone and ruined my day. My eyes will be red until tomorrow. Steps are such a unique bunch, so glad yours turned out to be so wonderful.

Real or not, either way you are blessed and I can't stop sobbing.

Can't wait to see who this is.
Joanne Sher 04/19/08
A great read. Good characterization.
Lyn Churchyard04/21/08
With so many stories about fathers this week, it was surprising to read one from a father's point of view.

Beautifully written, I could actually hear the father speaking speaking throughout. Well done, very well done indeed.
Joanney Uthe04/22/08
Okay, let me dry my eyes before I comment.

This was very touching. I like the take on the topic to use a stepdad.'
I thought the speech a little elequent for impromtu, but not totally unrealistic.
The rivalry between the two dads was well-written.
Marlene Austin04/23/08
Tenderly and honestly written. Very nice. :)
LauraLee Shaw04/24/08
Congratulations on your Editor's Choice. This is very moving and will bless many to come...
Tessy Fuller04/24/08
Beautiful - this brought a few tears to my eyes. Not over the top - just simple and heartfelt.
Beth LaBuff 04/24/08
This is wonderful! Congrats on your EC with this!
Sheri Gordon04/24/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is really well written, and a powerful message. Nice job.
Aaron Morrow04/24/08
Congartulations on EC! This is an beautiful, beautiful homage to a God-centered mixed family.

Thank you for sharing this with us, it is extremely touching and real. Thank you for portraying the "Dad" that Christ calls us to be.

Take care and once again congratulations, your EC listing is very well deserved.
James Clem 04/24/08
My wife had a 9-year-old daughter when we married five years ago. The terms "step-dad" and "step-daughter" have never been allowed in our hosue.

This is an amazing piece of writing, all the more so for being submitted from level 1.

And now I know just what to say at her wedding (some 30 years from now).
Sharlyn Guthrie04/24/08
Congratulations on your EC and welcome to Faithwriters! Great job on this story. I look forward to reading many more from you.
Lynn Jacky 04/25/08
Hi Terry - congratulations Wonderful story, well written I had a tear or two. I really enjoyed your story. Good luck and Keep writing.
Julie Arduini04/26/08
Congrats on your well deserved EC win. I am a step mom and consider that role icing on a great cake. You portrayed that well.