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9-Year-Old Girl Loses Her Mom - Years Later, She Pens a Message About Her Single Dad
Daughter Thanks Single Dad for “Never Being Too Much of a Man to Be My Mom”
Everyday Heroes

9-Year-Old Girl Loses Her Mom - Years Later, She Pens a Message About Her Single Dad

Being a parent is hard. Doing it alone can feel nearly impossible. And yet, every day, millions of single parents step up to the plate and kill it, taking on the roles of both mother and father to their children.

Tiana Sheehan was only nine years old when her mother died from lung cancer and her father, Glenn, suddenly found himself thrust into single parenthood.

Over the next few years, he would be her sole guardian, guiding her through all the messy bits of growing up, including the ones in which most daughters typically turn to their mothers for help.

It didn't go unnoticed. At the age of 23, fourteen years after her mother passed away, Tiana penned an emotional tribute to her dad, thanking him for "fulfilling both roles."

And it's a powerful message to all the single parents out there.

Daughter’s Letter to Her Single Dad Goes Viral

In a Facebook post that went viral on the page, Love What Matters, Tiana shared a core memory of her dad after a routine trip to the grocery store.

She explained that she had been shopping in Meijer when she overheard a mother talking to her daughter about shaving her legs.

"It was her first time shopping for razors, and her mom was explaining what kind of razor she needed, how to shave her legs, etc.," Tiana wrote. "I felt that little punch in the gut that I normally feel when I see a mom and daughter doing mom-and-daughter things. I can't help it."

And while she felt the familiar twinge of jealousy and sorrow, it also reminded her of a similar moment she shared with her dad when she was 10, and it made her giggle.

"I'll never forget the look on my dad's face when I told him I wanted to shave my legs. It was the summer after mom died and some of the girls I went to summer camp with started teasing me about my hairy legs."

There are some things in parenthood that you are just never prepared for.

"I remember coming up to Dad and being so embarrassed to ask him for help, but man, did he handle it like a champ!" she continued. "For a moment he put his head down; and then he turned the TV off, took me into the bathroom, gave me a new blade on his razor, gave me his shaving cream, and taught me how to shave my legs."

Despite being completely out of his depth, her dad didn't try to push her off or find the nearest woman. Instead, he pulled through. And Tiana? Never forgot it.

Shoutout to the Single Dads

When it comes to single parenting, mothers tend to take on the lion's share of the role. But there are a lot of single dads out there too. And it's to these single dads that Tiana addressed the next part of her letter.

"Single dads don't get the credit they deserve; especially mine and all dads who are left playing both roles," Tiana continued in her post.

"There was never a time in my childhood where I truly thought I was missing out on anything. My dad was so good at fulfilling both roles and making sure my childhood was as normal as possible; that there was never a time I thought life or God had screwed me over."

Her dad handled it all — periods, shaving, broken hearts, even catty girlfriends.

Tiana ended her post with a heartfelt thank you to her dad for never being too embarrassed to do the "girl stuff."

"Dad, I know I haven't said it enough, so here's a big public THANK YOU for never, ever, ever being too much of a man to be my mom."

Her words hit home. Not just with her dad but with the more than 40,000 people who liked her post.

Tiana and her dad were shocked by the response. "I never thought in a million years that so many people would see and share it — or that it would resonate with so many people," Tiana told People.

Single Parents Are Superheroes

Oftentimes as parents, we feel like we're failing. Like we're not doing enough. For single parents, this can hit doubly hard as they carry the weight of providing and caring for their children without the support of a partner.

Taking on the roles of both mother and father is no easy feat. And yet, so many parents do it all every single day. Making sure that their kids are happy, healthy, and above all else, loved. And that is something to honor and celebrate.

"Single parents rock! They deserve all the praise in the world. It’s not single moms or single dads, single PARENTS are superheroes!"

Tiana Sheehan via People

We couldn't agree more.

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