'Step' In the Name of Love: Father’s Day Edition
For today's Father's Day, Outlook has decided to break the chains and explore a different side of fatherhood - honouring a man who has taken on the duty of becoming devoted stepfather with open arms.
Moodie came into the picture when Campbell was about six months old. "My biological father became absent immediately after my mother got pregnant, and shortly after I was born, she started a relationship with 'papa', as we all affectionately call him," he told Outlook.
He met his biological father twice in his life, but had considered him a mere stranger. He confessed to Outlook that he hadn't even realised that Papa was not his biological father until he was eight years old. "They told me one day that my father had passed away, and I said that could not be possible because I had just seen him earlier. I was so shocked that I began crying. I couldn't believe that my father had died. And then they informed me that they were referring to my biological father. My tears quickly dried and I let out a sigh of relief in knowing that my father was still alive," Campbell recalls.
Moodie gave his take on how Campbell became his son. "I had known my wife before we became romantically involved, since we all lived in the same neighbourhood. I fell in love with her, so when I moved in, I immediately took on the role of being a father. They both made me feel right at home as a part of their family."
His papa has been everything a father could be. Campbell tells Outlook Moodie has been loving and supportive, providing financial and emotional support. He had a hand when it came to discipline, and has gone on to be a doting father, grandfather and great grandfather to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Moodie treated all his children equally. He tells Outlook, "I believe stepfathers should be great parents to their step-children. I have a very good son, who has grown up to be a kind and nice man. I was always there for him, no matter what, giving him advice, celebrating special moments and sharing in his pain. That hasn't changed. It has brought me great joy to see him become a father, and now a grandfather. I also have enjoyed being a father, grandfather and great grandfather to all my children. There are no barriers when it comes to step or biological. They are all my children, and as a result, our entire family is a very close knit."
Today, a retired Moodie maintains a close relationship with Campbell engaging in family traditions such as playing dominoes in 'high spirits' together and sharing life experiences.