In "I Am A Father," I wanted to highlight
the critical importance of the father in a child's life. Strong male
figures are necessary to a child's mental and emotional development,
self-esteem, security, as well as, their financial and physical welfare.
Nevertheless, the ties that bind sometimes break and nothing can repair
the damage. Nothing can take the place of a father. But the cycle of
life goes on, and sometimes only the healing balm of time can ease the
pain of Iife's hurts and scars.
There were three of us boys and, when I was 4 years old, my brother
Michael lost his battle with leukemia. He was only 10 years old. It was
a devastating loss to my family, in more ways than one. A few years after
my brother's death, my parents divorced and my mother was left to raise
two boys on her own.
As a child, I never spent any time with my father. He married again
and devoted himself to his new family. However, we did manage to reconnect
around the time I got married. He also was able to meet my first son,
Branden, but never got a chance to meet my other son, Blake. On the day
my father passed away, Blake was born nine hours later.
I relish the moments I have with my sons. The moments I missed not having
my father in my life growing up, I make up for and experience in being
a dedicated and devoted parent.
My relationship with my boys is awesome! There is not a day that goes
by that we don't laugh out loud. We are a very active and community service-oriented
family. We do everything together, from participating in sports (where
I also coach them), to playing board games on a weekly base, and having
open discussions on any topic. From day one I have been totally open
and honest with my sons. I am raising future fathers, community leaders
and men, and they need to be prepared.
It's a badge of honor to be a father; it's a badge that I wear across
my heart everyday I wake up.
When all is said and done, I want to be remembered for the work that
I did not just in my children's life, but children everywhere.
I am a father, and I love it!
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