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A Father's Role in a Child's Life

I am sitting here reflecting on my morning spent at a funeral for a friend's husband, killed tragically in a motorcycle accident this past weekend (no helmet). Ten years ago this man walked out on this wife and four kids (three who had special needs) as he '’couldn't take it anymore.”

He had been living with another woman this entire time (many did not know he had never divorced the first wife). He adopted the shack-up honey's two existing kids and then proceeded to have two more kids with her. His wife and his first four kids have struggled financially and emotionally as he helped with his kids, to quote his brother, "as he saw fit."

He was ex-military and the funeral was packed with men and women in military uniforms. He was a big supporter of veterans and the place was packed with his motorcycle veteran buddies. The flags were waved, the accolades read as his wife and four kids sat in the front row, tears streaming down their faces.  No honor was due this man and yet it rained down.

His heroism, his giving back, his devotion to the veterans and their causes was highlighted. Nowhere in the building, to my knowledge, was his shack-up honey or his second set of kids. I'm sure they were asked not to come. Never was made mention of the mess he'd created in his kids' lives. I was screaming in my head, "What would Dr Laura say if she'd been asked to speak?"

What a travesty… what a tragedy. Shack-up honeys at times like this have little rights; they have not earned them. Now there are eight fatherless children, four of them abandoned years ago. I watched the deceased's mother stand as they were doing the military honors, tears streaming down her elderly face, shaking her head from side to side. Nothing to be proud of, her son lying in a flag draped casket, leaving a terrible legacy of abandonment and shame.

He always had time for others but rarely for those who would have loved it, who craved it, who so desperately wanted it. Many in our church have stepped up whenever necessary to fill the gap left by this selfish man, but we could never fill their hurting and empty hearts. I must have screamed very loudly in my head for I now lie here with the beginnings of a migraine, sick to my stomach by what I just witnessed.

Wake up dads.  Your children need you desperately, and shame on those of you who deny your children.  Blessings on men like my father, father-in-law, husband, brother, son and son-in-law who gave and give of themselves and their time daily to make our family a very special and warm place. We appreciate you.

Thank you, Dr Laura, for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your efforts daily to restore families. You are appreciated and loved by many and considered a hero in our family for your advocacy for kids everywhere who are hurting.


Tags: Children, Fatherhood, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Read On-Air, Shacking Up, Shacking-up
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