It’s not everyday someone close to you turns 60, so when the landmark birthday came around for Dave Skaggs, his family wanted to do something extra special for him. But Dave could never be emotionally prepared for the present he was about to receive!
When Dave Skaggs married Pamela Skaggs, he was certainly taking on a lot of responsibility. Pamela came with a lot of baggage, as she already had five sons! The youngest of them all was Joel Glenn, only ten when Dave bravely came onto the scene.
As Joel hit puberty and became a teen, he gave his parents a tough time. He constantly acted up and put Dave’s good nature and patience to the test. Anytime it was possible to be a troublemaker, Joel could undoubtedly be relied upon to rebel.
Now happily married, the one-time teenage tearaway recently turned 40. And Joel’s wife Sommer Anne is aware of his past indiscretions. “When he was a teenager, Joel wasn’t the best to Dave,” Sommer Anne told 1010 WINS of her husband’s behaviour.
But Dave wasn’t fazed. He never wavered and would always show up for his family. “The kids had not had an easy childhood, and Dave stepped up to the plate big time,” Sommer Anne said. As the new patriarch in the family, it’s clear he’d taken on a very demanding role.
When Joel was no longer at such a tricky age, he began to get closer to Dave. Indeed, it took Joel entering adulthood, and the fact that Dave had stuck out the more troublesome, turbulent years, to bring the two men together. They embraced their father-son dynamic.
Joel’s newfound respect for his stepfather was shown publicly in 1997, when Joel married Sommer Anne. At this point, Joel and Dave were like best mates, so it seemed fitting that he should ask Dave to be his best man at the wedding. After all, Dave was one of the most constant male figures in Joel’s life.
And when Joel had children of his own, Dave became Papa, grandpa to four more kids. Dave, despite being unable to have children of his own, had been a husband, father, father-in-law and now grandfather. He was surrounded by a huge family.
But it still wasn’t enough; Joel wanted to do something more. So October 2017 arrived and the big day of the 60th celebrations came. Joel wrote an emotional note in a card that he personally read aloud to Dave. Sitting next to one another on a sofa, Joel shared his experience of their journey over the last 30 years.
“You have been my dad, daddy, father, best man, best friend for 30 years now,” Joel read aloud from his card. “You came into my life when I needed a dad the most, and by your teaching and example, you have shown me what a real man is. By loving my mom, you have taught me how to love my wife. By sacrificing and standing beside me no matter what life threw at us, you showed me how to be a father to my own kids,” he continued.
He went on, “I have such great memories of you throughout the years of us having fun together and you always making the tough decisions seem so easy. It has made me be able to make the hard but correct decisions.” As the moving tribute was read out, a clearly emotional Dave wiped away the tears.
But Joel wasn’t finished just yet. “When I was young I didn’t recognize who you were,” he continued. “Over the years, because of your honesty, integrity, work ethic, and unconditional love, I have come to see you are the man that I most respect, and you’re my hero. I love you, Dad.” Having said his piece, he closed the card.
After the heartfelt words were read out loud, the two men hugged it out. But the gift-giving was not over. With Joel looking on tentatively, Dave began to open his birthday present. In a box was a blue file. Dave took it out, opened it and started to read.
After just a few seconds, Dave turned to look at Joel. Then he closed the file, put his hand over his face and started to cry. Completely overcome, his shoulders shook with the force of the tears as he leaned into Joel, who rubbed his back.
The reason for the tears soon became evident. What Dave had found inside the box were adoption papers. “You have to agree to it,” Joel joked. “Definitely,” Dave affirmed. Now, once all read through and signed, Joel will officially become Dave’s son. Although really he is already, in everything but the eye of the law.
For some time Joel had wanted to ask Dave to legally adopt him. However, he didn’t know that adult adoption was even a thing. “We didn’t know about them until a year or so ago,” Sommer Anne told 1010 WINS. Dave’s 60th birthday seemed like the ideal time to ask him, and in doing so, validate the past 30 years they had known each other.
“Then, in August we talked with Joel’s mom, Pamela Skaggs, and decided that it would be a fun and special gift to give him for his 60th birthday coming up in October,” Sommer Anne continued. There followed months of planning and plotting in order to achieve this memorable moment.
Sommer Anne admitted that “we had no idea his reaction would be so intense and so beautiful. It was a wonderful night. I feel so honored to be a part of this family – to be Joel’s wife and Dave’s daughter-in-law.” Having spent so many years helping and supporting others, it was only right he was recognized in such a way.
When it all becomes official, Joel plans to change his name to Joel Oliver Skaggs Glenn, so that both sides of the family are included in his name. This heritage is clearly important for him, and to have it written for all to see is proof of the gratitude and love he has for his father.
This heartwarming story of human bonds and the power of love and devotion is a true testament to the importance of family and fatherhood. It shows that even those like Joel, who haven’t had the best start in life, can achieve marital bliss and familial happiness