Brian wrote to us and asked for help. He lost his wife in a car accident and is now left to care for his two children—a 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
Dad, if you are married, imagine what you would do—all the issues you'd have to work through: your job, childcare, helping your kids cope with this enormous loss, and striving to keep their mother's memory alive while moving on with life.
Listen to what another father, Derrick, wrote when he was faced with this challenge: "Suddenly, work seems pointless. I'm a doctor; if I don't see my patients, there are plenty of physicians to pick up the slack. Life would go on without my services. But there's no one else who will care for my sons like I will. Work would never miss me, but my boys would suffer immensely."
Derrick says that some of the most difficult times are the good things—his son does something unbelievably cute, gives a big smile, or learns something new. It all comes back again that his wife is no longer there to share it with him.
Now, this isn't meant to bring you down, but to give you a fresh perspective on your fathering with help from these two dads.
If you're in a similar tough situation, hang in there. Be the father you know you need to be—or figure out what you need to be. The qualities of a good father—like involvement, consistency, awareness and nurturance—will serve you well and be a big benefit to your kids. With God's help, you can handle the challenges ahead.
And for the rest of us, first, let's reach out to struggling dads we know-whatever their challenge. They could really use our support.
And then, let these dads' stories challenge us to not take family members for granted. Imagining a tragedy can provide motivation to renew your own wholehearted dedication to your children. Build memories together; create the kind of bond where you can lean on each other during difficult times.
And for you married dads, let your wife know how much she means to you as a partner, lover and friend.