Maybe it isn’t in our culture to give our parents their proper due, but we should make a sincere effort to thank them for everything they have done for us. Like many parents, my dad made thousands of sacrifices without any expectation of something in return. My dad was excited to become a grandfather. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to become one. His death taught me that even as we become singularly focused, we should remember to thank those who have helped us get where we are today.
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To understand why 10-year-old Landen Martinez has such a big, generous heart, you have to go back about eight years to when his father Vince decided to grant a wish on his own and charter a helicopter flight for young man named Ryan who had terminal cancer.
Landen was only a toddler, but he was watching.
They’re always watching.
Forrest said his wife had already decided to get rid of little Leo–and delivered an ultimatum: If he decided to keep the baby, she would divorce him. Forrest said he wouldn’t let Leo go. A week later, his wife filed for divorce.
Forrest, a freelance business contractor, plans to move back to New Zealand. He admits caring for Leo will be a challenge and has set up a GoFundMe page to get help.
He admitted the whole situation came “out of the blue,” but said his son deserves a loving home.
Looks like he has one. And his GoFundMe has raised almost a half-million dollars!
Thanks everyone – we are stunned beyond words at the incredible support & love you’ve shown for little Leo. 9 days after we started our campaign, Leo and I found out in the wee hours of morning that we had crossed our target! He is a lucky guy to have the support of thousands of friends like you around the world. Some of the additional funds that we have raised will be used to secure better living conditions in Auckland, and to give Leo higher quality opportunities when it comes to education – a good home and school cost money, but Leo will have all that and more, thanks to you. We will use some of the money you’ve given to fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities, and to help better care for the special ones who end up away from their Mom & Dad. We’d also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down Syndrome babies as well as other organisations that can help these children – thanks to your support we can start to make a difference already. Thanks again for your care and generosity!
Warms the cockles of my heart 🙂
Chris Bohjalian: My father never lost heart — until his heart gave out.
Whenever my father wanted to impart a bit of advice he would begin, “Chrissy, you gotta understand.” Yes, he called me Chrissy. And perhaps because he wanted to dial down the pomposity of his words, a man whose speech could be so precise he did voice-over work for radio and television would transform “have to” to “gotta.” Sometimes the advice was helpful. Often I viewed it the way all grown sons view guidance from their fathers. We smile and then later share the counsel with our wives, rolling our eyes dismissively.
But often in the midst of that advice was his laughter, and until the final months of his life, he laughed a lot. He laughed despite the massacre that loomed. I learned a great deal from my father, which is why he appeared so often when he was alive in this column. And perhaps the best gift he gave me was a positive attitude that is almost unkillable. So even though he won’t be here to join me, again today I will raise a glass to him.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Father, son back to preach at church they called home. “That’s the thing I’m most excited about, to be there with my son,” David said. “I’m very proud of him and all that he has accomplished.”
Bleacher Report: The most successful father-son combos in sports history.
I would have thought Earl and Tiger would have made the list by default.
An 81-year-old Grand Rapids man has found out that he has a son.
The man had tried having kids all his life but thought it was a life goal he never accomplished. But a letter sent by the child’s mother more than 50 years ago told him of his then 5-year-old son. That man is now 61.
It was a message believed to have been hidden by his wife for decades. Tony Trapani, 81, said that after his wife passed away, he was cleaning out one of her old filing cabinets when he came across the letter.
Father and son only met for the first time Sunday, and Trapani said he feels like a new dad. Samuel Childress, meeting he father for the first time, said he spend his life wondering. “I always asked my mom, I said, ‘Well what does he look like?’ She said, ‘Well, go look in the mirror.’”
The letter sent by Samuel’s mother back in 1959 is postage stamped on that date. “I have a little boy,” it reads. “He is five years old now. What I’m trying to say Tony is he is your son. He was born November 14th, 1953.” Childress’s his mother told him that she had sent the letter but figured his father was ignoring him, he said.
Here’s where the story takes a drastic turn. Trapani claims that his wife at the time intercepted the letter and hid it in a filing cabinet for decades while the couple couldn’t conceive a child on their own.
“Why my wife didn’t tell me,” said Trapani. “I don’t know. She wanted children. She couldn’t have any. She tried and tried.” “He’s my full son that I’ve had my whole life, but why my wife hid that letter is beyond me.”
Growing up, Childress said, it was his understanding that his father got the letter but didn’t want anything to do with him. He grew up in Pennsylvania, with meeting his father was just a distant thought.
“Just to know him now is so important to me. It’s going to fill that void,” he said.
Father and son are now catching up on a lifetime of memories, making the most out of the time they have left, knowing they can’t go back in time or dwell on the secret that kept them apart for so long,
The family is also planning to have a paternity test done just to be 100 percent sure.
A member of Liberty United Methodist Church, Bobby Clement decided he wanted to create a memorial honoring his father for his Eagle Scout project. “He wanted something that wasn’t so typical – something the community could benefit from and use,” his mother, Lunda Eller, said.
After a large tree was cut down at the church, Clement’s uncle, Tom Hill, came up with the idea of creating a prayer garden. Clement began asking local businesses and community members for donations in February. After lots of planning, he purchased the necessary materials and began working on the prayer garden, which was completed in September.
“We worked on it just a little bit at a time,” Clement said.
There are three benches in the garden – one in memory of his father; one in memory of his maternal grandparents, Jim and Helen Hill; and another in memory of his great-uncle, Paul Hill.
U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond’s youngest child is quietly videotaping recollections of his late father.
The NFL must continue to reform its approaches toward player safety and domestic violence, and it is even possible that the safety level cannot be brought within tolerable bounds given advances in weight and speed training and that professional football as we know it will have to die. But the matter more immediately at hand is a broader indictment of a ritual of socialization for American boys that sits uneasily alongside modern tolerant mores. Before we prosecute that American obsession, we ought to try at least to understand it.
Because boys being boys is sexism. Or something.
Leadership 101: The Fireable Offense of Brady Hoke
Disgusting. Reprehensible. Despicable. Atrocious. Disturbing. None of these adjectives can truly describe just how horrifying it is that Hoke had absolutely no problem reinserting Morris back into this game. None.
Listen: Our children naturally need a lot of instruction from us. But when was the last time you just hung out with your child and listened to them? Chuck Swindoll recalls such a time.
The Third Metric: How A Father Found His Calling In The Wake Of Unimaginable Heartbreak
Fatherhood.org: What’s missing in the Adrian Peterson story.
Even though this story continues to unfold, I decided to write this piece now because of what’s been absent from coverage of this story — two vital reasons Peterson acted in such a stupid, harmful manner.
First, Peterson was and still is ill prepared for being a father. Let me be clear. I’m not talking about whether he loves or genuinely cares for his son. I’m also not saying he lacks any knowledge or skill in being a father. What he clearly lacks, however, is an adequate base of knowledge and skills required of a nurturing, loving father, particularly in the area of disciplining a child.
Second, Peterson lacks even a basic understanding of the difference between discipline and punishment. I’ll unpack this second reason before I return to the first one.
Dobson is the foremost authority on the latter. Otherwise, I’m not sure anybody is prepared to be a father. I certainly wasn’t. And the Missus wasn’t prepared to be a mom. We simply did our best and prayed a lot.
And what’s also missing? Few are mentioning this horrible situation.
The man charged with second-degree murder in the death last year of another one of Peterson’s children is now free on bail.
Joseph Robert Patterson, who allegedly mortally assaulted the 2-year-old son of the Minnesota Vikings running back in South Dakota, posted a $2 million bond on Friday, said Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead.
The victim lived with his mother, who was Patterson’s girlfriend.
Rough discipline vs “mortal assault”? Not even close.
The thing is, in most cases, boys and girls fall very neatly into gender stereotypes without any help from you. We didn’t consider this until our girl was born. However, when she did arrive, the differences were so stark it was almost laughable.
The first thing we noticed was communication. My boy mostly communicates through grunts. This is interspersed with bouts of verbal diarrhea. My girl on the other hand is, what can only be described as, a talker.
When I ask my boy what he did in school he answers the same way every single time. “I don’t know”. In fact, as he is now approaching the age of 6, he actually laughs when he says it. He is fully aware that he hasn’t the faintest idea what happened ten minutes ago and he now finds this faintly amusing. However, ask him to describe his favorite TV show or Wii game and he can communicate all the finer points with a level of eloquence normally reserved for the Oxford debating society.
It’s like gravity – you can work around it, but ignore it at your peril.
By the way, it’s important to recognize that boys and girls “come of age” differently too. Young women look forward to ceremonies of social acceptance like cotillions and quinceañeras. Young men are more oriented on Eagle Scout sort of stuff – proving their individual manhood.
Fathers who don’t acknowledge – and lead – their sons and daughters through this transition into adulthood in these different ways are blowing a chance of a lifetime for themselves and their kids.
Clint Eastwood to his son:
Whatever you do just do it well.
Be humble about what you do.
Be a good guy and tell the truth.
Be a man.
If you respect your kids, expect excellence, and lay out clear and fair directions, you’ll find them ready and willing to help out. At least until they’re 15.
The Missus got a lot of mileage out of this book too.
Roughhousing Lessons From Dad – Fathers Teach Risk-Taking, Boundary-Setting; Learning From ‘Sock Wrestling’
MochaDad: 5 Tips to Help Families Discuss Serious Topics at the Dinner Table. He also recommends ShareTheTable.com.
Dennis Prager’s thoughts on the death of his Father. Too much wisdom to excerpt here. Just go read the whole thing.
Sorry for your loss, brother, and praying for you ‘n yours.
Fred McCoy – 25 Rules And Lessons For My Future Son
Though my life has been brief, I’ve learned a lot from watching the love of my life pass away, losing my father, being knocked out and knocking other people out. I’ve hunted and hiked. I’ve played with puppies and buried dogs. I haven’t traveled the world but I’ve found adventure after adventure in America alone. My interactions with many different people and my variety of experiences have helped shape what knowledge I think would be useful to the next generation of men.
I’m sure as I grow older my views might change and so might these lessons, but as it currently stands, these are the morals and lessons I would like to instill in my child. This list is by no means representative of how other people should raise their children,this list is all me. I noticed another list posted recently by author Mel Rose entitled “25 Things I’ll Teach My Future Son” and while her list was mostly a complete faffery, this is not a response to the article.
Read the whole thing. (hat tip)
Reads: The Making of Men, by Dr. Arne Rubinstein. Podcast with the author, discussing boys and rights of passage in Australia, at the link.
Megan McArdle: Money Won’t Buy Your Kids a Future
Having grown up in New York City and attended an expensive college, I invariably came into contact with quite a few people who had sizable inheritances or trust funds coming to them. Over the years, I’ve grown quite sincerely glad that I wasn’t one of them. I can’t claim to have any scientific data, of course, but in my experience, too many of those people were always about to do something but never got to the point of actually having done it. They got jobs but left them when the job proved to be tiresome, or when they had a major setback such as a terrible performance review. They didn’t need to make a career in order to put food on the table, and that kept them from doing the often painful and unpleasant work of getting really good at their jobs. And ultimately, they weren’t happy about that. Their money protected them from the very real miseries of being broke. But it also protected them from the sweet smell of success.
Broke is fine. That doesn’t mean leaving them unprepared.
What is most sophisticated and wonderful about each of these women is that none of them are effective at the expense of her femininity. Disney’s women have come of age. They are strong, smart, even sexy. The change is unmistakable. These women of action, unlike their predecessors, are out of the house, (or the sea), confident and courageous.
Then there are the fathers. In most of the old movies, there is a single female parent. In all three new movies, there is a single male parent. Interesting switch. Has the depiction of fathers as primary caretakers improved to the same degree as the view of young women? One could argue that at least they exist! However, in each of the movies mentioned, the father is a tyrant, a buffoon, or both.
There are, of course, capable fathers among Disney’s characters. Geppetto, Pinnochio’s father, is caring and courageous. In The Jungle Book, Bagheera and Baloo team up to take care of Mowgli and see him safely back to the man’s village; while one lacks a sense of humor and the other lacks a sense of responsibility, combined they make a pretty good paternal pair. My favorite father is Pongo of One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The newest Disney dad, The Lion King’s Mufasa, is a fine feline father, at once powerful and playful, stern and sensitive. These latter two movies are among the few Disney families with both a mother and father.
There is an important difference between these positively portrayed papas and the faltering fathers of Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine. These dads care for sons. Pinnochio, Mowgli, the Dalmatian pups, and Simba are all boys. The message seems to be that when caring for boys, a father is competent and even heroic, but when caring for girls, a father is bungling and brainless.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published new data on the role that American fathers play in parenting their children. Most of the CDC’s previous research on family life — which the agency explores as an important contributor to public health and child development — has focused exclusively on mothers. But the latest data finds that the stereotypical gender imbalance in this area doesn’t hold true, and dads are just as hands-on when it comes to raising their kids.
That includes African-American fathers.
In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results “defy stereotypes about black fatherhood” because the CDC found that black dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other racial groups…
Lots more at the article. More:
Considering the fact that “black fatherhood” is a phrase that is almost always accompanied by the word “crisis” in U.S. society, it’s understandable that the CDC’s results seem innovative. But in reality, the new data builds upon years of research that’s concluded that hands-on parenting is similar among dads of all races. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to bust this racially-biased myth.
The Pew Research Center, which has tracked this data for years, consistently finds no big differences between white and black fathers. Gretchen Livingston, one of the senior researchers studying family life at Pew, wasn’t at all surprised by the new CDC data. “Blacks look a lot like everyone else,” she pointed out.
Well, that’s good. And it confirms my suspicions.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together – until he died, when i was just 6.
i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.
but once i did, i noticed something.