Father's Day: "Daddy," a Title That Makes Me Most Proud

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Dave steele with wife and four children in family portrait with Happy Fathers Day 2016 messages

There are many things I am proud of in my life: my career as a singer, traveling the world from the age of 18 while getting paid to do something I love. I'm proud of the work I have done in the last three years raising awareness and supporting people with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Usher Syndrome through my poetry and books. But of all the things I've been in my life, singer, author, poet, the title I'm most proud of is "Daddy."

Daughter Ellie's Arrival

From the second my daughter Ellie arrived on November 4th, 2007, I found my true calling. I remember being nervous and doubting myself at the prospect of becoming a father. A million what if's ran through my mind, but from that first cry, I felt a sense of love like nothing else.

Birth of Son Austin

On June 6th, 2013, I was blessed with the birth of my son, Austin. I remember feeling nervous before he was born. I split from Ellie's mum a few weeks before her fourth birthday, left Glasgow in Scotland (where I lived with Ellie), and returned to Manchester, England, to be near family. Ellie remained in Glasgow, but she spends a weekend every month with us in Manchester. It was one of the hardest decisions I've made, but I had no one other than Ellie in Scotland and needed support through what was a painful separation.

Meeting Amy and Her Two Boys

The following year, I met Amy, and we fell in love instantly. Amy had two boys, Harvey and Louie, who were both of a similar age to Ellie. When they met for the first time, it was instantly natural like they'd always been together. A few months later, Amy and I were expecting our son Austin. He would be the final piece of the jigsaw to link us all together.

But before he arrived, the panic crept in. I was worried how Ellie would react to having a baby brother? Would she be jealous? Would she feel pushed out? Would I love Austin as much as Ellie?

These questions may seem ridiculous to some, but I can honestly remember wondering if there was enough love in my heart to love someone other than my little girl. I needn't have worried. My heart just got bigger. I just loved more. Not only did Austin show me how much I could love, he sparked my love for Amy's boys. Who I'm proud to call my stepsons as Amy and I married in 2014.

Since Losing Sight I Have A New Appreciation for the Important Things in Life

I make the most of every day and strive to be the best husband, stepdad, and dad I can be. Although I carry the concern that there is a one in two chance that my daughter and son could have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) when they are older, I do everything I can to show them that being blind doesn't mean you can't do amazing things. The legacy I am creating with my "Stand By Me" RP books will be something they will read when they're old enough and hopefully will make them proud.

Every year when Father's Day arrives, I'm reminded not just of what they mean to me but also of what I mean to them. I am truly blessed.

Shift This Cloud

A Poem by Dave Steele

How do I break the news to what I may have done to you
Won't know for sure
but doctors say the odds
are 1 in 2
I look in to your eyes
and watch for signs
I hope aren't there
Pray this RP
will end in me
no faulty gene is shared
This tunnelled world I live in
hope one day won't be your view
Don't follow in my steps or place a foot inside my shoe
The battle for acceptance
will be just a story told
With perfect sight
not hurt by light
clear vision break the mold
I carry heavy guilt
through sleepless nights and secret tears
I wait to know the answer ticking clock of RP's fears
But if in future blindness
does come knocking at your door
I'll lead you by example
show that life is so much more
My son be proud
we'll shift this cloud and dance in heavy rain
I'll show you all that's possible
strong heart and long white cane
With poems raise awareness
this will be my legacy
Four words that travel round the world
my Stand By Me RP
So years from now
when you're fully grown
if blindness burden shared
Just look at what your Dads achieved
So you'll be more prepared

Posts Celebrating Father's Day

Every Day Is Father's Day

A Father's Day Gift to Your Children or Grandchildren: Quality Time in the Woodshop—Not the Woodshed!

Seven Lessons on Coping with Blindness: A Father's Day Reflection

Grandpa, Can I Ask a Question?

Personal Reflections
Retinitis Pigmentosa

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