|John Ward Willson IV|
I'll never forget the morning he drove back into my life. I was walking down the hill to the bus stop at about 6:45. A car pulled up alongside me, and my father said, "Glenni, is that you?" I recognized him immediately and couldn't believe he was really there. I had written a letter trying to find him, but it had been several months. He drove me to school, then we went to dinner that night (with my mother's blessing - she never minded me seeing him...it was just my grandmother who hated him.) That summer I spent some time with him, and we began to rebuild our relationship. I got to know my little brothers, and always looked forward to seeing them.
Nevertheless, my grandmother had done a great job of brainwashing me against him. She had convinced me he wanted to harm me. It wasn't until 10 years later when my dad took Keith, me and my brothers on a trip to Europe that I truly felt secure with him. I tripped on the steps in the Paris subway and fell, twisting my ankle. My dad picked me up in his arms and carried me the rest of the way to the train. From that moment on, I never doubted how deeply and incredibly he loved me.
My dad was loved by people he had met around the world. He worked in the travel industry until he was well into his eighties. He was a gentleman through and through. After he died we received messages from people in at least 12 different countries commenting on his character, his hospitality, and his amazing work ethic.
I hope today is a special day for each of our ANM families. Take time to celebrate your dad if he's living. If there are barriers, tear them down before it's too late. Then make sure your kids celebrate their Daddy. We want to help make the celebration a little sweeter, so we're offering a $10 Starbucks gift card to one lucky dad! Just post a picture of Dad with one or more of your little ones on our FB page, then leave a comment here letting us know you did that! We'll pick a winner on Friday!
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