Father’s Day can mean many things to many people.
For many of us, it’s a day to honor Dad for all that he’s done for us, the sacrifices, the guidance, the support and the love. A day for bad cologne and ugly ties. A ballgame shared. A picnic. A day at the beach. Memories made and moments remembered.
For others, Father’s Day can be a day of resentment and guilt. Of absenteeism. Of regret. Of fistfuls of “I Wishes” and “If Onlys.”
For the 350 men in our programs at The Healing Place in Louisville and Campbellsville, Father’s Day takes on all that – and more.
To find oneself in a shelter with a Recovery Program on a day when millions of others may be surrounded by family is tough.
But they know that tougher still is the road they’ve traveled to get to this place.
Tougher still is the road they’re on – to redemption and a new way of life, a sober and clean life where responsibility is not avoided but embraced.
They may not know what the future brings – but they’re on the road to find out, armed with some tools that can someday, and soon, help them to become better fathers, sons, brothers – servants.
I can recall Father’s Day six years ago when I was in their shoes; just 30 days sober and, by choice and by fear, cut off from my three sons and my daughter. Knowing any future I might have with them depended on what I could learn about myself and my disease in the months to come. To find out that I wasn’t a bad person trying to become good, just a sick person trying to get well. To learn that self-forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past – and that something called The Promises might come true for me and them some day.
That if I was painstaking about my development, I would will be amazed and know a new freedom and a new happiness; not regret the past and comprehend serenity and peace; to see how my experience can benefit others. That my feeling of uselessness and self-pity could disappear, lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in others and that self-seeking might slip away.
In short, that my whole attitude and outlook about life could change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will vanish and I might know how to handle situations which used to baffle me; that a Higher Power can do for me what I couldn’t do for myself.
Today, on this Father’s Day, I have all my children back in my life. They have a sober and responsible Dad and their love and support cannot be measured yet is felt every day.
And on this Father’s Day, I am grateful for all the men on the same road to find the same thing.
Posted on June 19, 2015
by Marla Highbaugh filed under