But that doesn't diminish the importance of the three men in my life that I'm paying tribute to today. First mention goes to my dad.
My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I lived with Dad pretty exclusively until leaving home at age 17 (to join the Army). My Dad taught me the best lesson ever: "The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother".
I don't, personally, remember his relationship with my real mom but I very vividly remember his relationship with my step-mom and it was clear that he adored her. I never saw or heard a fight. I always saw lots of physical affection and respect.
The first man I ever loved was my Daddy and, when I grew up, I was sure I'd marry him. I vividly remember dancing on his feet, snuggles, love and cuddles. When I went looking for a life partner, I wanted a man that had the qualities I saw in my father.
I hit the jackpot with Andrew. He's the most incredible man I've ever known in my entire life. He's smart and funny and compassionate. He's a man of of the highest moral character. He's honest and fair and, as if fate could actually put a cherry on top of the perfect sundae, he's wicked handsome too!
Every adjective I used to describe him takes on a new meaning since I've known him (if you've got a man like this, you know what I mean). I'll never have to tell my kids how fortunate they are to have him as their Dad. They'll Just Know.
None of Andrew's qualities are a surprise when you consider where he came from. His parents are simply wonderful. They've been married over 40 years and I still see a sparkle between them when they're together.
It's my deepest hope that our girls will see the same sparkle between their mom and dad and will, someday, seek a partner with their Daddy's qualities. If they do, I'll never have to worry that they're happy and loved.