Stepbrother Dearest

By: Penelope Ward

“Hey, little buddy. It’s Daddy. I’m your daddy.”

His eyelids flickered, and he started to squirm in my arms.

“You don’t have to wake up. I’ll still be here. You won’t be able to get rid of me for a very long time.”

He opened his little hand, and I watched his tiny fingers close around my pinky. I wondered where any of my inspiration to write even came from before him. I knew that from now on, every last bit of it would be derived from my son.

Letting go of all lingering anger from the past was going to be more necessary now than ever. There would no longer be room for any of it in my heart. I needed all the room for him. It was in that moment holding my son when I knew I had to truly forgive Patrick and Randy. They’d schooled me on what not to do as a father. I’d make up for their mistakes by giving my own son more love than he’d know what to do with.

It may have seemed strange, but I quietly thanked Randy for what he had given me. In life, he led me to my one true love. In death, he made it possible to find her again.

Through death there was life. Through hate there was love. I looked down at my son. “In the end, there was you, and that made it all worth it.”

In the same way that you can easily switch the letters of a word around to see another hidden meaning, such is life. A life can be defined by its hardships or its blessings. It’s all a matter of how you look at it. So, while this book was once setting up to be a tragic tale, it turned into a love story, an imperfect but unconventionally epic romance.

Scramble the letters of romance, you get Cameron. Greta came up with that one all on her own. It was her very first anagram.


I love you, Cameron.

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