I wasn’t fortunate enough to receive guidance and support from my father, but there are several men in my life who have acted as role models by sharing their time, wisdom and good attitude when I needed it most. Because of them, I am forever grateful for the example they have given me to be a better dad. These men include my grandfather, my uncles and a mentor. But the one man I probably learned the most from is my father-in-law, Randy.

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I never expected that my best friend’s dad would one day become my father-in-law, and that I would establish a close relationship with the man I had always heard wonderful stories about from my friend, Josh. I had been a bit jealous then, listening to Josh talking about his trips to visit his parents, and invariably a notable story involving his father. Josh’s experiences were foreign, yet mesmerizing to me. Most of the anecdotes that caught my attention were the ones about how he and Randy worked to restore a car or repaired a car Josh was having trouble with. No one had ever invited me under the hood like that. I did learn some things about car maintenance from my mom, but never experienced the bond that happens between a father and son while working together.

A couple of years later, I fell in love with Josh’s sister and Josh’s dad and I began sharing the intricacies of mechanical repair under the hoods of many cars. Sure I would still have the embarrassing moments where Randy would ask me to hand him a three quarter eighth something or other and I would fumble my way through his tool box looking for the correct bit, or lug nut, or ratchet. But despite my clear novice in repairing much of anything besides a computer, my father-in-law began sharing great life lessons. My relationship with Randy made me aware that it doesn’t matter whether it’s your father or father-in-law. Everyone on this Earth can experience a personal connection with One who cares for us, shares with us and teaches us about life if only we will let him.

written by UNCOMMEN Head Coach, Dee Lanier

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