I have an incredible dad and I have lived a life surrounded by good men who loved their families well.
And yet, I look at my children and my heart is filled with grief. They cannot say that about their dad. Code Red brought unbelievable shame into the lives of my kids and today, I am angry about it. I absolutely hate that his actions directly affected them.
Why, why, why does this have to be their story?
Not too long ago, one of them said that he was telling the story of when his dad slammed him into the wall and his head left a dent…his friends were appalled (and I was horrified). I never even knew that happened!! I had known that when Code Red got angry he was rough with the boys, and I’ve heard their stories of being held against walls. But I had no idea that it had gotten that bad. And I feel ashamed.
As I think about Father’s Day, I am so sad. I am sad that I couldn’t shelter my babies from their father’s actions. I am ashamed that instead of getting them away from him, I minimized it and tried to make it not as bad as it really was. It wasn’t until I began telling my story over and over again that I realized that we lived with abuse. I honestly thought that I was ridiculous and that I exaggerated everything. I am sad that they don’t have a positive and sincere relationship with their dad. One of them won’t even acknowledge him as “dad;” they refer to him by his first name.
Dammit, I am angry.
Today I choose to refocus. I step back and look around. My children have grown up with young grandparents. My children have witnessed good, solid men providing and caring for their families and neighbors. They have seen what it looks like for men to work hard and love well.
Even though their father failed them, the other men in their lives modeled what fatherhood should look like. I pray that they remember the legacy of security, firmness, and loving kindness their Papaw, uncles, and great-uncles have passed on to them from the distance. It won’t ever take away what they have lost, but hopefully, it will give them a bit of security.
With all of our struggles, it would be easy to forget the wonderful experiences that have blessed our lives. Although I am sad and angry, I choose to recognize the good men that have been a part of our lives.