A family is not born, it is made. Not all people are lucky to have loving family ties by blood, yet they are blessed enough to be surrounded by people who feel like home.
Cody Shugart, a man from Victoria, Texas, is one of those who never had any connection with his biological father. According to Cody, growing up without the guidance of a doting father is not easy. He had a hard time conquering the challenges a boy, a teenager, and a grown-up man face without having a father to support him.
Fortunately for Cody, he grew up surrounded by respectable kindhearted men who did not mind being Cody’s father figure as he grew up.
Years after, the young and clueless Cody grew up into a decent man and tied the knot with the woman of his dreams. Soon, he found himself taking care of a son of his own. Looking back at his childhood, he realized how important it was for the young Cody to be surrounded by his kind neighbors who became his father figure.
Out of all his male folks who willingly became a father to him, Cody couldn’t forget Mr. Milton West the most, the man he fondly called Mr.Chip. And so, Cody found himself introducing his son, Bob Wayne, to his favorite father.
Cody took a photo of his adorable son, Bob, sitting on the lap of Mr. Chip. Loving the photo and the memory it brings, Cody uploaded the picture online. Minutes later, it garnered thousands of likes and shares, becoming viral in an instant! Looking at the picture below, it is no wonder why thousands of hearts melted after seeing Bob, a white and blonde baby with Mr. Chip, an African American.
In a time and place where people are divided by racial issues, sexism, and discrimination, it sure is refreshing to see a picture with a powerful timeless message. To make the picture even more meaningful, Cody wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook together with the photo he had posted. And the caption reads as:
“So a lot of people like this picture. So I wanted to take a minute to tell the story. Milton West was my childhood next door neighbor. I knew him as Mr. Chip. He retired from DOW chemical as an operator. He has always been there for me since I was two years old. Growing up without a father was always difficult for me.
But the good lord surrounded me with great men, Mr.Chip was one of them. He constantly preached the value of an education, taught me how to take care of a yard, he taught me to see people for who they are not what they look like, he taught me how to treat my mother like a saint and many other life lessons. His contributions to me becoming a good son, man, and father were huge.”
“I am forever grateful for God putting him in my life.” Cody said, expressing how much he respects the responsible and hardworking Mr. Chip.
“So this past May my wife and I had a little boy named Bob Wayne Shugart. When Mr. Chip and his wife Shirley saw him they fell in love with him. They babysit him sometimes and we go and visit when we can. The last time we were over there Mr. Chip said he wants to be called ‘POP.’ He says that’s his grandson. So we had to come up with a name for his wife. We decided on Lolli!!!!”
“So we tell Bob Wayne we are going to see Lolli Pop!!! I’m grateful that Lolli and Pop will be a part of my son’s life. If he learns half the things from Mr. Chip as I did he will become a great son, man, and father.” Cody added, knowing that his son Bob will be a great man with Mr. Chip right by his side!
According to statistics, 1 in every 3 children grows up without any assistance and support from their biological father. Cody, unfortunately, is one of these saddening statistics. Yet, his story is not entirely sad, because he met truly wonderful people such as Mr. Chip. Proving to the world that, a family knows no blood tie, no skin color, and no age. Sometimes a family is simply a group of people that make you feel at home.
Photos | Cody Shugart