Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How My Dad Made a Difference - Part One

Did you grow up with, or without a father?
In my situation, I had both.

Much of my childhood was spent with my mother.
No, my mom never remarried,
providing me an instant step-dad,
instead - my dad fought for me.
He realized the chance to have me live with him,
and went to court to ask permission from the state.
Not just once, but twice.

Isn’t that what we all hope for in life?
A father who will tell us
in both his actions and spoken words
that he cares for us so much
and will use all his strength to fight for us??

My story with my father is a little different, because...
my mother did everything legally possible to keep me from him.
She hated my dad because they had divorced,
and because ‘he was to blame for all her unhappiness in life.’
Whatever the truth was between them, I only remember this...
she was bitter towards him, and she tried to make me feel the same.
But you know what happened?

He showed up.

He hired attorneys and went to court
He did all that the state asked of him,
including paying money for third party psychiatric evaluations.
He provided a loving environment.
He hugged me every chance he got.
He smiled when he saw me.
We played when I was young,
and talked deeply when I got older.
He was there consistently and on time to pick me up.
And when he passed away, I was both sad and happy.
Sad because he would never know my wife or children,
yet happy because I had known this man’s love for me.

If you have screwed up,
done something foolish that separates you from your children
I want you to know this...
the story of your relationship with them is not over!

You can write a letter apologizing.
Do it today.
You can make a recording to explain how you messed up.
Do it today.
You can write a journal for them,
of the hopes you have for them at every part of their lives,
both the parts you have missed,
and the ones you hope to share with them in the future.
But do it today.

You can do more...
to repair things,
to rebuild,
to start a new relationship.
No one ever said it would be easy
or that you have to be a perfect father,
but try to become the dad you have always wanted to be.
Then try it again tomorrow,
and never give up!

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