.... I want to take a minute and write a big 'thankyou' for the 18 plus years of child support you so faithfully sent.
Had our marriage stayed together, I would have been the primary caregiver for our child, with you as the head of our home, and I as the heart. I would have been able to enjoy you as the breadwinner and I the breadmaker; but instead our divorce gave me the role of being both.
Knowing the convictions we shared, I instilled in our son right from wrong, and the importance of having a thankful heart and being a forgiving person. Our son also learned the difference God can make in our lives, and the power of prayer; first in changing us, and then in changing things around us. Even with the support you sent, our lifestyle was one that our government classified as 'below poverty level'.This has given our son values like 'what you are is more important than what you have' and 'family means more than toys or hobbies or nice things'.
And, although you weren't there for the important times in our son's life, your monthly checks and summertime visits with your new family showed him that you were being the best father that you could be - for you too, carried the scars of our marriage breaking up and even more than that, you lost not only a mate, but also a child, and that's something that your other children were never able to replace. Don't ever think for a moment that we took for granted the money you sent, while at the same time you were raising another family, because we didn't - especially in light of the thousands of fathers across America who never send a check or visit their own.
Although I was 5 months pregnant when we separated, I knew our son would live in the shadow of a marriage he never knew, but none the less, I taught him the importance of committment and family; and more than that; that God is able to be a Father to the orphans and a Husband to the widows.
Sometime I would like to share with you the little miracles and the big miracles that happened in our lives - sometimes when people were aware of our needs, and sometimes when absolutely no one knew... and an anonymous envelope would arrive in the mail...
I want to be sure that you know that I did know and understand that when your other children took their first breath, walked their first step, got their first tooth, and went to their first day of school, and later came home with their first broken heart, that for a brief moment your thoughts traveled across time and miles - to another child who had the same 'firsts'... only without you there.
I share your heartache and regret....
Last, but not least, I want to thank you for giving me a son who has been and continues to be the joy of my life. And now, he gives me more joy, through his darling wife and their precious little girl. Our son wants their next baby to be a boy, so he can carry on your family name. To me, that speaks a great love for you.
'What might have been' are the saddest words ever spoken; and yet as far as the two of us, all is forgiven and forgotten. Yesterday is gone forever and I look to the hope and promise that God and tomorrow bring.
My hat is off to you, my former love and mate. And my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude, not only for your financial help month after month, and year after year, but for giving me one of the most precious gifts a woman can know - the precious gift of motherhood.
Happy Father's Day.... there echoes within my heart, a love for you that will never die. "
and since this article was published in 1993, Ira has had a son, Jerod, and more recently twin sons, Joshua and Caleb, born in 2002....