The Love of a Father
Headlines are quick to capture “deadbeat dads”. Stories and movies are often written about abusive fathers, and about dads who disappear from the lives of their children, leaving moms and children broken, hurt, desolate, and alone. We seem to hear a little bit about the good dads around Fathers Day each year, but then the interest fades into the background, and we don’t hear much more about the good dads of the world until Fathers Day rolls around the next year.
It’s too bad we don’t stop and look around and honor the good dads more often during the year. There are a lot of amazing fathers out there. This is about one of those dads, and I’m honored to write his story:
When his daughter came along, the father had no idea that the unconditional love between a parent and his child could be so strong. All eight pounds of her was placed in his arms for the very first time and he was almost afraid to hold her! The indescribable love, the instinct to protect this perfect child of his was something he could never before have imagined!
The baby soon began to crawl and then she toddled and then she walked, and when she first said “daddy”, his world was turned upside down with pride! She soon began calling her father “Daddy-man”, a name that stuck throughout her young childhood years, and which even today, as he’s reading this, I’m sure still brings tears of love to his eyes.
As happens often in the world, parents sometimes divorce when their children are very young, and many times dads don’t get to play the role they so cherished early in their children’s lives. But that was not to be the case with “Daddy-man”. Early on, this dad knew he would never be happy with the standard visitation of every other weekend that a lot of dads agree to, and he fought and won shared joint custody of his daughter. With strong determination, throughout his daughter’s entire childhood, he has been thoroughly involved in her every stage of development, in her many accomplishments, and in challenging times as well.
Every single decision “Daddy-man” has made and he continues to make, is with his daughter’s best interest in mind. He has sacrificed so much of his own life to make sure he gives his daughter what she needs to thrive in the world. While you may know of a lot of single, handsome guys out to impress the ladies with their sports cars or with the latest trend of the day, a new car isn’t even a thought in his mind. This particular dad puts his daughter and her welfare as the top priority on his list of importance, above anyone and anything else.
While a lot of single men can’t wait for the weekend to take in a sporting event with their friends and indulge in pizza and beers with their buddies, that is not the case with this man. He has put his personal adult wants, needs, and desires aside without regret. If he isn’t helping his daughter with her homework or getting his household in order to maintain a safe and happy environment for her, he is working to make sure he provides adequate child support, that he will always have a home for her to come to, that she can go to college when it is time without financial struggle. And, in this uncertain economy, he is careful to make sure he and his daughter will be okay financially should things take an unexpected turn.
“Daddy-man” may not enjoy the art of cooking, hence the abundance of pizza nights and peanut butter and jelly in the pantry! But he does his best to fill his home with her favorite treats during the days and nights his daughter is there. He knows how important healthy food and exercise are for both of them and he does his best, never asking for help from anyone.
Yes, his personal sacrifices have been and still are many. Often times the loneliness in his home when his daughter is not there is tough for him to handle. There are days when his heart breaks and he truly struggles just to get through the day. But the love and dedication and pride he forever holds in his heart for his daughter is what always keeps him going, one day at a time.
Life has not been fair to this man. He is a good and decent man who so deserved to raise his child in a home where he could watch his daughter grow every single day, not just 50% of each week. And being the fine and decent man he is, he will probably never tell his daughter about the many sacrifices he has made while raising her and about the unbelievable obstacles and hardships that were put in his way over the years. But I bet as the years go by and as his daughter becomes a woman and marries, and when she watches her father hold his grandchild in his arms for the very first time, she will glance at “Daddy-man” and realize how lucky she is to have the greatest father in the world!
Kelly Jackson is a single mom who lives in Tampa, Florida, with her daughter, Holly. And when someone touches her heart, she simply hasto write about it. With sincere admiration, “Daddy-man,” this one’s for you!