Reflecting on Father’s Day…
When I was younger I had the opportunity to have my father in the home full-time until the age of 6-7 and then unfortunately he became part-time and eventually he was gone. He fell victim to the “grass is greener on the other side” philosophy that get so many of us in trouble. Unfortunately for him, his life has never been the same. I have tried to reconcile with him several times, however the pain and disappointment always seem to rear it’s ugly head over and over and at some point I had to make a decision to move on.
I grew up not understanding the roles and responsibilities of a husband and a father because I did not have a role model or fatherhood figure. My grandfather passed away when I was relatively young and I depended on my mother for those serious conversations and every once in a while, someone would come along and I would pick up some important nuggets of information to help me grow as a young man. None of these men were in my home though. I ultimately feel blessed for how I developed. What I held onto as a growing young man were three important goals:
- Work hard and create a better life — this meant increasing my income through education and work.
- Never settle for anything – probably caused this inner drive that will not allow me to be content.
- Avoid making the wrong decisions because the cost was huge – this meant friends, jobs, family, etc.
Fast forward to today and I am thankful for my older cousin and my Pastor at the time to help model what true Fatherhood is and what my responsibility is to my family. I think we can agree that being a father is not easy. I am proud of the steps that I have taken and also proud of so many of my friends that have done well too. One of the most important nuggets that I have picked up along the way is to align yourself with like-minded people. I am proud to say that I have aligned myself with some pretty cool people, whether neighbors, family, friends, etc. that are standing in the gaps for their families and doing a great job. That to me is what Fatherhood is all about.
Father’s Day may not have the appeal and impact that Mother’s Day has in society — my mother thinks it is a national holiday, but I still think it is important because the value of having dad in your life leaves a legacy — good or bad, that will have a lasting impact.
Lastly, I was able to see this impact as I visited my daughter’s school this week. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to see her face light up when I walked into the room for her end of the year program. I salute the fathers that I am associated with socially or through another relationship that are making this impact felt and are seeing the seeds of their efforts come to fruition.
To those that are or in a similar situation that I was in as a child, you too can use that situation as motivation to want more than what you were dealt. Do not use it as an excuse to succeed! Look at me, I turned into a Dluxedad!
Until next time….