A young man's Facebook post detailing his experience as a single father has gone viral.
Richard Johnson, 21, had to raise his daughter, Persephone, by himself after the mother left when the child was only 1 month old. He wrote a letter to the Life of Dad Facebook page 10 months into his new life as a father. That letter has since gained more than 98,000 likes.
"We still don't know exactly why [the mother left], but we suspect post-partum depression played a part," he wrote. "I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn't sure I could do it."
Johnson also spoke to Yahoo Parenting about his previous aversion to the idea of having children.
"I came from a family where everyone is either divorced or a single parent," he said. "My father wasn't in the picture, and I never wanted that for my kids, so I was dead set on not having any."
He changed his mind when he met Persephone's mother.
"We decided that we wanted kids, and I wanted to give them the life I didn't have," he said.
Things took a different turn when the baby's mother left and took Persephone with her.
"She took my little girl to California, but then called a week later and said if I didn't come get Persephone, she was going to put her up for adoption," he said.
Johnson immediately went out to California and brought his daughter home with him.
After receiving a flood of support from fellow Facebook users, Johnson wrote a second post in which he expressed gratitude and admitted that he has endured some difficult moments.
"The days have been rough and at times I wasn't sure I could make it another day," he wrote. "I spend more than a few nights holding my little girl as she slept weeping because I wasn't sure I was going to be a good enough father for her."
Ultimately, he wants people to know how thankful he and his daughter are for the words of encouragement.
"From the very deepest depths of my heart and mind I want to thank each and every one of you," he wrote. "I can’t even begin [to] explain how much this means. You've all really lifted up a guy who was just trying to be the best father he could be. I'm indebted to each of you."