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Lesson From Dad

Dr. Laura,

Here's a little inspiration for all the divorced/single parents not dating -- courtesy of my dad.

Dad was a single parent. He and Mom divorced when I was 14 and I went to live with him. Somehow I knew I needed his discipline.

It was during this time my circle of girlfriends was becoming involved in the sex, drug and rock n roll lifestyle. I was scared, but the lifestyle was attractive and fun. And, I was influenced. One evening, my friend and I were going to visit her boyfriend. I knew he was a drug dealer. She waited out in her car while I ran inside to get my things.

There was Dad, watching a basketball game. I sat with him. "Dad?" I said, "My friend is waiting outside for me and…I don't want to go with her."

I was 16 years old. Torn apart by a broken family and not knowing how to cut ties with the only female emotional support I had. It was a pivotal moment in my life. And Dad, my hero, gave me an excuse. I bowed out gently with my friend and went up to my room to ponder and read.

He saved my life that day simply because he was at home, watching a basketball game instead of out dating women.

Five years. Five years Dad spent without a woman. And, I know for sure it was not easy for him. One day while I was doing laundry, I found a folded piece of paper. I opened it and read the words. It was Dad's handwriting…in pencil. It was a personal prayer, a Psalm of loneliness. And, it touched me very deeply. I folded it back and put it in his shirt pocket…never to mention a word. Dad was lonely, but, he never let me see that. That was between him and God.

This man is a hero. He gave of himself completely. Little did he know, he saved his grandchildren's lives, too, for, I did the same thing for my children when their dad went away.  For twelve years I channeled my Dad's firm standing, yet, quiet care.

He married a few months after me. A real sweet woman, I am thankful to her. Just between me and God.

It's not easy to be 'alone' raising children. Dad showed me why. He showed me how.
He's an inspiration.


Tags: Divorce, Parenting, Read On-Air
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