This touching letter from a young single dad is going viral
In a letter to Life of Dad, a social network for fathers, 21-year-old Richard Johnson talks about the joys and challenges of raising his 10-month-old daughter Persephone on his own.
After his wife left them when their daughter Persephone was only a month old, Richard Johnson felt lost and scared. He suspects postpartum depression may have been a factor in the abandonment.
But he tried to fight these emotions by equipping himself: he read every parent book and watched YouTube videos on a variety of topics from "braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues."
These proved to be a wellspring of information and inspiration.
When he started following Life of Dad, he became more confident knowing there were fathers who were going through the same things he was.
In his second letter to the site, he expresses his gratitude for the wave of love and support from netizens.
He also shares some of his difficulties and how he was able to overcome them.
"One night in particular was the night she first crawled. She came to me and laid her tiny little hand on my cheek and stared into my eyes," he wrote. "I took it as 'Come on Daddy, we have a lot to do.' So I told her no more crying for either of us and we were going to fight to be happy. We’ve kept true to that promise."
Then he ends with words of advice for single parents out there.
"If you ever feel like the load is too much or you're just not good enough. Look into your amazing child's eyes and just tell them you love them," he said. "You'd be amazed to see how much strength you have when someone else is counting on you and loving you more and more for what you're doing. You'll find strength where you thought you had none."