As I checked my email box this AM, I was saddened to hear one of my friends back in Ohio lost his father. There have been a lot of males around me who have passed recently; from my co-workers father-in-law, to my manager’s father, to my wife’s uncle. All have passed within a 4 week time span and all were fathers. It made me start thinking about life again. I won’t get all dreary and depress you like I did on the death blog, but when people pass away it does make you reflect on life, and time, and what we do while here. I always tell my friends that when I pass, I want to make sure that I left an impact on this world prior to departure. I want to leave a legacy for my children and generations to come.
Many of the guys I grew up with didn’t have our fathers in our lives. A lot of us also grew up with a lot of resentment and anger as a result. As I matured into an adult, I forgave and discovered there were life situations that completely changed how I viewed his absence. There was a time as a young man that I recall speaking to him prior to college, and even though he hadn’t been there my entire life I still valued his words and approval (which is something I never admitted that until years later). Regardless of how my feelings may have been hurt in the past, I had to make a conscious decision to let it go. Me holding on to that anger was obstructing the flow of blessings into my life. I remember soon as I let that anger go, I felt a shift in my life. I am not saying that changes anything from the past, but what I am saying is it opens doors for the future. You don’t have to be buddy buddy (because I am not) but you can at least be cordial.
I have another friend who was in a similar situation. He had a step-father who he considered his ‘real’ dad, and had resentment towards his biological. I remember some of the conversations we had about forgiveness. I remember during that period of time he was still upset with his father, but when he passed away how he broke down at the funeral. I am not trying to put peoples business out there, but I do want to make a point about how instrumental fathers are. Regardless of their presence, their words have a major influence over the way we view ourselves. My kids adore my wife, and love her more than anything, but there is something about their father’s approval that they need. I have various stories from my friends about their fathers not being around, but how his words still had influence over their lives.
I know there are a bunch of deadbeats out there, BUT what I have learned in life is there is always two sides to a story. I am sure for every no good babydaddy, there is a no good babymoma standing right there beside him. For every deadbeat dad, there is a mom dropping her kids off so she can go clubbing or to a bar. I am sure that will piss some women off, so let me pause and explain. I came from a single family home, and I seen how much my mother had to sacrifice for me. I know there was times she needed to get away if nothing but going on a weekend vacation with her cousins. I am know you need a break from time to time, but inappropriate is what it is. Take it with a grain of salt but some stuff mothers have no business doing (and I will leave it at that). What I am trying to point out is the fact society always labels men as no good, but never highlights the other psycho part of the equation. I wonder how many dads would actually come around if the ex wife / child’s mother didn’t (fill in your own blanks). Yes there are some men who are dogs, but come on now. Hollywood always portrays fathers who aren’t with the mothers as the scum of the earth. I was watching that terrible Meet The Browns, and it amazed me how heartless they wrote the fathers’ character. It was apparent the writer (Tyler Perry) has some issues with his dad, but come on now. Have you ever seen a man act that way towards his child? When I ask that question I don’t mean him not coming around when you want him to, I mean acting like he doesn’t care if the kid died? Let’s be honest, those Hollywood portrayals are a bit dramatic and far-fetched. But this is the image society paints when men and women are irresponsible and have children outside of a committed relationship.
I don’t want to dig too deep into that discussion, but I bring this up because I see that men need help. I personally don’t like the word ‘deadbeat’ because people tend to deduct without knowing the facts. I am not saying men don’t have some issues and that there aren’t bad ones out there, but what I am saying is continuing to beat men up verbally will not help the situation. We need to start uplifting males and encouraging them so we can get society back on track. There has been a major shift in roles. And why is there never any mention of the plethora of GOOD fathers out there?
If you know someone who is a father, regardless of if you deem them good or bad, just be the bigger person and show them some love today. Life is complicated and not worth wasting time being mad because your feelings were hurt. I know all relationships aren’t that cut and dry, but just forgive so things in your life aren’t hindered. Most relationships can be patched up with a few short words. I implore you to call, e-mail or write and encourage a father you know!