Mending Fences — A Modern Father’s Day Tale

@2011 By Sammie Love. All Rights Reserved.

Twenty years ago as we anxiously anticipated the birth of our first-born son, we welcomed Fathers Day full of smiles. All of our hopes for the future, dreams of who our son would become and the profound love that the two of us shared were safely and warmly wrapped up in my belly. We counted the days until he would arrive. As I look back at that Father’s Day I could have never predicted the three of us would never spend a Father’s Day together. Even more unsettling than that is the fact that my son’s Dad had not spoken to us in fifteen years until very recently.

So as I sit here on this Father’s Day morn, and I find it ironic that after not speaking to the child that was loved so much from the moment of his conception, cherished from the second he was born and abandoned by the time he was two. That we (my son, his father and me) are ALL mending fences, yet this will be the first year I am calling my son’s Dad to say Happy Father’s Day. Most surprising to me I’m not just me saying the words, it’s me saying them and truly meaning them!

I have been my sons, Mother, Father, disciplinarian, and loudest cheerleader. I have worked hard and provided great male role models for him like his Papa (Grandfather), his Uncle, his Step-Father, and other male friends for him throughout his life, but at the end of the day and in spite of all my hard work I knew that my son was missing his Dad!

My son needed to connect with who he was and why he did certain things that he did. He needed to know about the other side of his family, his siblings. He needed to ask those questions that children who’d been estranged from a parent need to know and ask. He needed to know that he was wanted and loved by his Dad and his Dad was the only person that could provide those answers.

Well GOD moves in such mysterious ways and his grace and miracles never cease. He is a mover of walls, the healer of pride and the maker of humbleness. So when my now twenty year-old son informed me that HE wanted to make contact with his Dad, humbleness swept over me, my years of anger subsided, my pride dissipated and grace allowed me to write a simple email to an email address that I wasn’t even sure was still valid. The response was so quick it was mind-boggling!

It’s been a week of letters, phone calls and text messages. A week of trying to piece back together lives and trying to understand where things fell apart. Its been a week of acknowledging those people in our village that helped raise this man/child. It’s been a week of self-examination, reflection and remembering love! I’m not sure where we will all be next Father’s Day, but I hope it will be celebrated with hugs and kisses in person by these two men that are continuing to mend fences.

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