Dear Stepdad, The Only Thing ‘Step’ About You Is How Gracefully You Stepped Into The Role Of My Children’s Grandparent

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“The only thing ‘step’ about you is how gracefully you stepped into the role of my children’s grandparent.

You’re not my dad.

You never will be.

My ‘DAD’ is in heaven, and that is not now—nor will it ever be—your role.

And though only one of my children was alive when my dad died, and even she was only a year old at the time, he is forever ‘Grandpa.’

They call you by your name and so do I. Still, in conversations with others, we often refer to you as ‘step-grandfather.’

Maybe it’s hard, I can imagine.

But you probably understand.

Because that’s how you are, understanding.

And so I want to be sure you understand this:

The only thing ‘step’ about you is how you ever-so-naturally stepped into the role of my children’s grandparent.

Step-grandpa holding step-granddaughter at the park
Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

How you regularly step in to help us with whatever it is we need.

How you take a handful of steps out into your backyard to your grill to make us steaks, ribs, sausages, wings and anything else we ask for.

How you step back or to the side if ever a moment calls for such.

How you step to the plate to show up for a baseball game, soccer match, or acting show if ever we can’t, and even if it’s a last-minute ask.

Step-grandpa sitting next to his step-grandson with his arm around the boy's shoulder
Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

And how you stepped into the role of loving my kids’ Gramys in the way she wants to be loved.

Losing a parent is hard.

Losing your kids’ grandparent is hard.

But what helps to heal a broken heart is the presence of a person who’s willing to hang around and help pick up the pieces.

Families and family dynamics are like a puzzle—they can be confusing, hard to navigate, and incredibly frustrating.

BUT, like a puzzle, when the pieces fit together, the big picture comes together.

And I want you to know this:

Your piece fits and we’re incredibly glad you’re in our big picture.”

Step-grandpa sitting next to his step-granddaughter while they both smile big
Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Get her new book, Musings for Mom, hereSubmit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Nicole here:

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