Sunday, June 19, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 6:00 PM | No comments


Here in the United States, we are experiencing "The Fatherless Crisis".  Approximately 25 million children are growing up in the US without a father. These children are more likely to join gangs, abuse drugs, have teen pregnancies, and commit suicide. 

I am one of the blessed who can be counted among those who do not fall into the statistics above. I am sure there are "technically" many reasons why I haven't fallen victim to such things as gang violence, teen pregnancy, or suicide. I am sure that researchers could look at my DNA, my education, my geographical location and any number of things that would point to this. But, I know one thing is for certain. I have a dad who loves me. 

My dad has worked hard to provide for us. We went to good schools. We got to do extra-curricular activities. We even were given cars which is above and beyond what a good father should do. He did it because he wanted to. He coached my softball team for 4 years. He came to my plays and my basketball games. He played basketball with me in the driveway. He let me sit in his lap and drive around the neighborhood. He made my friends feel welcome (even if it meant i felt embarrassed)...all my friends loved my dad. My dad made sure we had food, good food. He made sure the bills were paid. He was at all our birthday parties. He took us to Disney World and every summer to Red River, NM. He would rent a jeep and drive us to the top of the mountain and do donuts in the open space. He would race go-carts with us. He would take the fish off of my line when I caught one. He taught me how to round the bill of my ball cap. He made sure my brother and I could go to college. 

Now, my brother and I are grown. We are out of the house and paying our own bills. College is long over and adult decisions have replaced the hours of softball practice, backyard basketball, and sleepovers. Instead of wrestling with dad in the living room, we are now wrestling with the choices before us as adults. But I am the adult that I am because my dad broke the cycle. Without having a good father to pave the road for him, he turned around and became a good father. And so, now I can say with confidence that my future kids will have a good father because I have seen and know what to look for in a good man. 

Thanks Dad, for providing, for disciplining, and mostly, for being present in our lives. This year, to honor you, I have made a donation to The Mentoring Project. The Mentoring Project is an advocacy and training organization that serves as a liaison between faith communities and matching agencies to provide mentors for fatherless youth. Through dynamic church trainings, national mentor recruitment, and the creation of sustainable mentoring communities, The Mentoring Project seeks to rewrite the story of the fatherless generation. Perhaps because of the mentors who step into the lives of these children, there will be many more boys who grow up to be men who stop the cycle in their own families. Men who stay. Men who work hard. Men who love their children.

Thanks for loving us, Dad,