Every guy knows what to do with a hole in the wall. You patch it, right? But what do you do with a hole that’s a dad-shaped wound in your soul?
When I was eleven, I moved back in with my dad. It had been six years since his arrest for threatening to kill my mom in a drunken rage. “Maybe he’s changed,” I hoped. But he hadn’t. His drinking was as bad as ever, and when he became suicidal, I bailed out. Four months later my father was dead.
How do you patch a hole like that? More importantly, how do you meet the challenge of being a father when you’ve never had a dad to show you the way?
First, seek out some mentors. My high school football coach was a great role model for me. So was my first boss. Even if you’re now an adult yourself, you can learn from the men around you what a good dad should look like.
Second, I turned my negative experience into a positive one. When I think of the ways my father let me down, it reminds me that I don’t ever want my boys to go through what I did. And that helps me stay strong.
Guys, no matter what holes your father left behind, remember, you can move forward and give your kids the life you want them to have.