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For Our Brothers

A Tribute to Our Dads
by Carl E. Carey, Jr.

Many of my closest friends are fathers. As I have surveyed those fathers who I know personally, most of them are doing a good job as "head of household". They are men who are staying with their wives, committed to their children, and they take their role as providers seriously.

I do realize that fathers like my friends are quickly becoming the minority in today's society, but it is refreshing to know that responsible dads do still exist in great numbers. Too often, we focus on the men out there who go AWOL on their families and we don't appropriately acknowledge the men who hang in there—sometimes under great pressures and serious challenges. I take my hat off to the fathers around the world who are taking care of their responsibilities.

I never knew how much time went into being a father until I, myself, became one. It is one of the most challenging things I have ever done—but, it is also the most rewarding. To know that I am responsible for two young lives is an amazing feeling. I know my daughters are counting on me to provide, protect, teach and discipline. I realize that the things I do or don't do for them will have a profound impact on them later on in their lives. I know I won't and can't be a perfect father—but I am striving to be the best one I can be because I want so much in this life for my two little girls. I want them to know that they are loved by their dad and to feel that love. Somehow, I know that the love from me is an important building block to the type of women they will ultimately become.

If you are a father and you are involved in your child's life, I want you to know that your efforts are appreciated. Even though it may seem sometimes like people don't understand or recognize how hard it is to be a dad, realize that there are men around the world enduring the same responsibilities who know your hard work and sacrifices. If you are a father and for some reason you aren't as involved with your child or children as you ought to be, make a vow to do whatever it takes to reconnect with them. If there is past pain in the relationship, it might take some time and work to mend the relationship, but it will be well worth it. No matter how old your child is—they still need the love of their dad. Even when they act like they don't need you now, it's really because they needed you so much in the past that they are having a hard time escaping the hurt and pain they feel from years ago. The rift that exists now is only evidence of how much they yearned to have a relationship with you when they were younger. There is still time to make your connection with each other strong. You take the first step and if needed, take the second and third steps too. Everyone benefits when fathers and their children improve their relationships.

To all dads out there, Happy Father's Day! May you be continually appreciated for the positive impact you have had, are having and will have upon the life of your child. God bless you for your efforts.





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