An Open Letter To All My Fathers

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Growing up I used to hate Father’s Day. I hated going to church on Father’s Day knowing that I would be there celebrating all the dads in the room and mine wasn’t there. As I got older it started to hurt a little less and eventually I was cool with Father’s Day.

Over the past couple of years I have come to understand that my heavenly Father has blessed me with fathers for every season of my life. There was never a year in my twenty-eight years that I didn’t have a father present. And that makes me blessed beyond measure.

So today I celebrate all of the fathers in my life, especially the One who graciously gave them to me. God I thank You for being my Father and for giving me dads here on the earth to guide, protect, provide for, teach, cover, pray for, play sports with, travel with, laugh with, discipline, encourage, support, comfort and love me.


To the father who has been there since the day I was born, literally...

Tree, you are the best godfather a girl could have ever asked for. As my moms best friend, you were one of only two people present with her when she gave birth to me on that Wednesday (other than the doctors and nurses). You introduced me to the game of basketball by taking me to see the Washington Mystics play in 99. We saw Hot Sauce and The Professor hoop it up two years in a row when And1 was the hottest thing. You came to graduations, birthdays, basketball games and more. You let me do my laundry at your house during grad school, fed me and taught me to play the piano. You walked my mom down the aisle at my wedding and welcomed John into your life by creating space for him to walk in his gift of worship. We miss you and we love you dearly. You are the greatest godfather in the world. Happy Father’s Day Tree.


To the father who has been there since I was a young girl...

Mr. Claude, thank you for loving and marrying my mother when I was sixteen. For loving me as your own daughter. I honestly don’t know where we would be had you not come into our lives and led us to a place where we could understand relationship with Jesus Christ versus religion. True freedom. If it had not been for you I also never would have met John. Thank you for always standing firm in your faith and loving on people like our Father loves. You took me to get my license and proudly bought me feminine products at the store. You saw me off to prom and drove me back and forth to Hampton those last two years of high school. You supported me every year of my education, graduations and helping me move in and out of dorms and off-campus housing. You took in my friends and treated them as my brothers and sisters. You listened and you prayed and thankfully you cooked. I’m glad that it was you who walked me down the aisle. I love you Mr. Claude. I love you and I am so grateful for you. Thank you so much for absolutely everything. Happy Father’s Day.


To the father who has been there since I became a young adult...

Pops, I still don’t understand how you went from being “Uncle John” to father-in-law. I believe you had a hand in that, but I also believe that my relationship with you and “Aunty Kim” paved the way for my relationship with your son. You saw before we did the potential for our union and I thank you for the amazing young man of God that you have raised. I still have the card you all gave me for my high school graduation. Can you believe we’ve been in each other’s lives for over ten years? I’m thankful and I look forward to the many many many more fruitful years to come. I love you and Happy Father’s Day. Oh, and we need to get some photos of just the two of us =).


To the father who looks just like me...

Dad, I am so happy that we found each other. There is so much of myself that I now see in you and have discovered over the past two years. It’s quite fascinating, how although years apart, our interests were the same. I’m getting to know you and myself at the same time. Like now I know why I had asthma all through high school and college. You had jet skis, I’ve always wanted them. You had huskies, if I were to have a dog it would always and only be a husky, probably named Huey. You had a horse, I love horses. We both had jeeps, and love spicy food, and tacos and the water. I believe all things happen for a reason and that God’s timing is perfect. We have the rest of our lives to continue getting to know one another, to be father and daughter, to share life together and to eat many many tacos. I love you dad and Happy Fathers Day.


To the Father who loves us more than we could ever comprehend, the One and only living God...

Papa, You knew me and had a plan for me before time began. You created me in my mother’s womb and sent Your Son to the earth to die for my sins so that I could be free. There aren’t enough words in the world to tell You how grateful I am. Thank You for saving me and drawing me to faith and relationship with Your Son when I was thirteen and continuously walking with me everyday. I love you, I am Yours and I will worship you with my life through eternity. Happy Father’s Day Papa.


Love Always,
Your Daughter,
Raine Kirstin Brandon


P.S. - to all the men who have raised their children and children not their own with courage and love, thank you and Happy Fathers Day.

Grace & Peace,
Raine