Culture, Poem



she sits in silence

a solitary tear falls upon the face of a child
     looking for acceptance
          for his return
               her father coming home

my princess
my flower
words she longs to hear
the construction of her confidence
assurance of his presence

no longer the need to awaken love
     before its time
          in the arms of another

Fathers – Love your daughters

When you think of the word “Father” what comes to mind? Did you have a healthy relationship with your dad? Or was it unhealthy? I can tell with full confidence that mine was not a healthy one.

As Western culture and society move more and more away from the values of family and commitment in relationships, unfaithfulness, divorce and broken hearts are on the rise.  I’m not a sociologist by any means, but I think it’s safe to quote Michael Rosenfeld, author of “The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions and the Changing American Family” in saying that even in the age of independence family is still the basic foundation of a human being.

I remember when I was still in my 20s and at a friend’s house, there was a man there that was talking about the affects of a father’s absence in the life of a teenage girl.  He spoke about how it is so easy for a girl to give herself sexually to another when she doesn’t have a strong and healthy relationship with her dad.  I thought he was full of crap, but as I debated with him and pondered the subject afterwards, I could really see that what he was saying made a lot of sense.

I wrote this poem soon after reading the poem of a blogger friend. He shared a video as well and it made me cry. It’s about a little girl in a car, leaving her father standing outside, saying goodbye.  She looked so sad.

Live Science says that scientists have found, after decades of research, that a father’s parenting style affects their kids just as much, and sometimes more, than mom’s.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway for the U.S. Department of Human Services states that a present father has a huge impact on a child’s cognitive ability and educational achievement, as well as psychological well-being and social behavior. One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse says, The presence of a responsible father plays a key role in delaying sexual debut and reducing teen pregnancy. Concerning substance abuse they say, Research results show that father closeness serves a protective factor against the use and abuse of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and hard-drugs during adolescents.

Now at the age of 40, I can safely say, with full confidence, that I no longer suffer the affects of an absent father. I have had great healing, thanks to my faith, but it didn’t come easy. In recollect, I fit the description of all that is stated above.  I did poorly in school and had very low self-esteem.  I exhibited disruptive behavior and had poor social relationships. I lied continually and got in trouble with the law.  I experienced great depression and chronic insomnia.  I started smoking at a very young age and used drugs, with a dependence on marijuana. And last, but not least, sought love at a young age through sexual relationships and promiscuity.

Now back to you. What does “father” mean to you? Do you feel that the presence of a father within the family unit is necessary for the healthy development and growth of a child?  Would you describe your relationship with your father a healthy one? If not, how did that affect you in your formative years?  And if so, how did that affect you in your formative years?

Photo by: sits in silence


33 thoughts on “Fatherless”

  1. Great blog, Stacy. I keep this in mind constantly as I am raising two little girls at the moment. It was also encouraging to hear how you have been able to overcome the challenges of an absent father. I am also interested in the book you cited – good blog, good information and good insight. Thanks.

  2. I grew up not really knowing my father. He worked long days when I was very young, and then when I was in my teens, I was in a rebellious phase of my life. By the time I was 18, he was ill, and died by the time I was 20. It’s impacted me in a positive way, though. I miss him dearly, but the way that I’ve approached his loss was to be the father that I sorely wanted. Does that make sense? I wanted my kids to have the father I didn’t.

    1. That totally makes sense Rob. So glad you’re taking good care of your guys. They will grow up as healthy and whole individuals, thanks to the responsibility that you take so seriously and your investment in them.

  3. This touch me strongly my dear Stacy! I was lucky to pass my childhood life in a strong bond relationship, my father is a great person, he worked so hard to take care his big family. I dont know how my life would be in your situation. You are so trong. Hug.

    1. Ohhhh, thank you so much sweetie. It’s so encouraging to get comments like yours. And I’m so glad you had a happy childhood with strong relationships. I really believe that when children grow up in a home where family relationships, honesty, love and unity are present, they turn into healthy and whole individuals. I really like, and hold on to this passage here:
      “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he’ll not turn from it.”

  4. Even though I believe children are scarebly resiliant and adapt to their surroundings, I don’t believe there is a good substitute for a dedicated and loving father…or mother, for that matter.

    1. Here here to that Richard. Yes, it’s true. Children are extremely resilient. I was so thankful to just happen to be in Canada at the moment of my dad’s passing. I never expected that to happen when we planned our trip there. On his birthday, July 21st I went and visited with him with my family and my brother and his family. He could no longer communicate and he was heavily sedated at the time. I remember it was just me and my brother and we had the chance to be alone with him and talk with him and pray with him. I really believe that he made his peace with God that day. Just a few short weeks later, on August 5th, he left this earth for his eternal dwelling. I felt so sad the day after he passed away. I remember going for a walk and saying to God, “Lord, it’s so sad that he passed away all alone”. And I really feel like God whispered to my heart, “But Staci, he was not alone. I was with him”. Amazing. The grace and unconditional love of God. Really amazing. I never knew what it was like to have a good father. And I suffered a lot because of him. But you know something, it really doesn’t matter, because I know the unconditional and amazing love my Father, my creator. I’m just thankful that my earthly dad is with my heavenly one in eternity. And when I get there, I will know a love for him that I never knew here.
      Bless you Richard. I always love hearing from you, my friend.

  5. Because I once had a supernatural meeting with Jesus, I am not near as quick to pass judgment on anyone. On that night I experienced the wonderous feeling of “God” love. Believe me, just like the theif on the cross that ask Jesus to remember him in Heaven, God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy are far beyond our wildest dreams, even when these gifts are asked for with one’s dying breath.

    1. Interesting that you should mention about the two other guys on the cross, because when my brother did the eulogy at my dad’s memorial, that’s exactly what he spoke on and felt deeply that it was being confirmed in his heart.
      Thanks Richard.

  6. Good parenting is vital in shaping a child’s way. My people believe that a child grows up to replicate most of the things s/he saw the parents do. For a boy, he would pick up from his father. But what about girls? Tim Lahaya, author of “Why You Act The Way You Do,” believe that loving fathers have great influence on their daughter to a great extent it makes the girls bold, romantic, and loving wives as against hurtful, dispassionate, mean women. This is a statistical analysis, though.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Uzoma. Thank you so much for sharing this. I also believe that kids model their parents behavior. I believe that raising a child is a huge responsibility because we are literally shaping the child and teaching them to become responsible people. Their character and value system depends largely on what they learn within their family. And like you said, fathers definitely influence their daughters greatly.
      Thanks again for sharing this Uzoma. I love your thoughtful comments.

  7. I think my comments about my father would not be suitable for a public forum. Lets just say that he wasn’t a very good one and that his treatment of my sister and I still affects us to this day. I envy the folks who have/had a loving father, they are truly the lucky ones.

    1. I hear you loud and clear Heather. I really don’t know what it’s like to have a loving father and to respect him as a father. I’m so sorry to hear about the sour effects that you father’s treatment had on you and your sister. I know that it took me a long time to get to where I am today. I used to really suffer extreme anxiety because of my relationship with him. My mother left him when I was 13 and it was the best thing to do really. I was a wreck.
      Thanks for sharing Heather.

  8. the construction of her confidence
    assurance of his presence

    no longer the need to awaken love
    before its time
    in the arms of another

    stacy, this is a profoundly poignant poem,
    that phrase especially has such embedded truth.
    i admire your courage to write about these difficult
    and often complex emotions. Bravo to you!

    1. Oh, thank you so much. I feel so honored that you would share such kind words with me. I really think you’re an amazing poet, and to receive words such as these from you really makes my day and puts a smile on my face.
      I am so thankful to be where I am today. I really went through the wringer during my 20s because of the ill effects of my upbringing with him. I has extreme anxiety and always felt as if I was doing something wrong. Then one day it dawned on me that it was because of growing up in fear of my dad.
      Thanks again and many blessings.

  9. Staci, hope you don’t mind – thought I would nominate you for one of these awards called the Sunshine Award – sounds like a bit of fun – it helps to get more people reading your blog and celebrates the wonderful encouragement you bring to others through your writing. Don’t feel you have to participate, but if you are keen, follow the link and there are instructions in my blog post. :)

    1. You are so kind Merryn, and I am honored that you would consider me for this award. I used to accept awards, but have decided after some thought and consideration to make my blog an award-free blog. It’s nothing against you or any other awesome blogger that considers me for awards. It’s just that my time is limited and I would like to leave this place in the blogosphere as my own little ‘creativity cupboard’.
      Thanks again, you’re so sweet.

      1. No worries at all! I totally understand the time thing and can appreciate that if you had multiple awards, you would find yourself writing more specifically for them rather than your own material! Glad to have found your blog and thankyou for sharing a piece of your life with your blog community 🙂

  10. when my two boys look at me and i smile and they can hear my notes when i’m not even singing, just breathing, then i’m reminded what it means to be a father. what a beautiful post, Staci. tony

    1. Thank you so much Tony. That’s so beautiful, what you said about your boys. I didn’t know you had children. I’m glad you take your role as ‘father’ with such intensity and responsibility. Being a parent really is something so fulfilling. It may be difficult at times, and is definitely a lot of work, but so fulfilling.

  11. I’m so laid back about so many things….. but when it comes to the subject of children needing fathers I’m very emphatic in my belief that it is absolutely crucial to their upbringing. Especially regarding daughters; they need a father in their life. When I read the statistics of children who’s father’s have basically abandoned them it is pretty depressing.

    1. Yea, I had noticed that about you. You don’t take the parenting of children lightly. Right on. You have four children right? How many daughters? Unfortunately, I don’t know what it is to have a healthy relationship with my dad. I grew up in complete fear of him. He was never physically abusive, but the verbal abuse totally affected me as an individual. In my 20s I was a wreck. Always anxious and thinking I was doing something wrong. Like, as if I had disappointed God. Then one day, I was praying in my room, and all of a sudden it was like God told me flat out, “Staci, you fear like you did your dad.” Wow, that was a total life changing experience. It was like therapy for me.

  12. Beautiful, touching poem.

    I do believe parental relationships are important depending on the parents. Some people shouldn’t procreate… My relationship with my father was a horrible one and I am extremely grateful it is in my past.

    1. Oh, thank you so much for your kind words Melanie. I’m humbled that you commented and complimented. I’ve read some of your poems and think they are beautiful. One day maybe I’ll get to your depth.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your relationship with your father. Mine, as you’ve already read, was also horrible. People like us don’t know what it means to have a healthy relationship with our dads; the kind where a little girl looks up to him and thinks he’s the greatest super hero in the world.
      My father is no longer with us, but I feel as you, “I am grateful it is in my past.”

  13. Another thoughtful and beautiful post. I think I am going to visit often, and read back! I feel a strong sense of kinship with your heart and style.

    I, too, had some serious issues after being raised without appropriate father-love, and have walked through some truly miraculous deep healing as an adult. Yes, I believe fathers are crucial in families. Good fathering is no guarantee of a pure, whole daughter or son, but it certainly enriches the deep places where a person feels loved, secure, accepted, forgiven, and — at least by my observations — those who have great fathering have a head start on stable, productive lives. While I am blessed with healing and insight that may have only come by the losses I suffered, I also spent many years focused on recovery while others were going to college and establishing their careers, then moving on into leadership. I didn’t get my bachelor’s degree until I was 42, and master’s at 50!

    1. Wow, good for you. Getting your bachelor’s at 42 and master’s at 50. My hats off to you girl. I also went through a lot of healing and recovery. I went through the wringer in my 20s, but it was all a process of healing.
      Thanks for the comment Joan.

  14. Very wise, Staci. One can never overestimate the value of a good, strong father in the home. Fathers should be the men that children can go to with their hurts and fears and worries. They should be the men who lead us into good lives by their strong, fruitful example.

    I always find it striking that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he did not pray to the Creator of the Universe, but brought God down to a very human level: that of father, and all the good things that word should imply.

    I liked this very much.

    1. What a great comment Kate. Thank you so much. I totally agree. Unfortunately today there are so many kids that are growing up without a father. And we can see the impact it’s had on people. I don’t know what it’s like to have a good father myself. But I know that my kids adore their dad. I’m so thankful that he’s a good one.

  15. Beautiful poetry Staci on a very important topic!Loved the references also. I recently read Dr. Meg Meeker’s book “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” which has had a profound effect on me and the impact I can have on my daughter. I am committed to making a difference.

    1. Ohhh, I’m so glad to hear that Mark. I, also am committed to making a difference. So much so that I’m pulling my seven year old son out of school to homeschool him as of February (the beginning of the school year here). His school is a Christian school, however he has Asperger’s syndrome and I am convinced that, even with the helper they got for him, he will thrive so much more at home. And not only on an academic level, but in character and learning responsibilities.
      Bless you and your daughter.

      1. Stacy, I think it is so cool you are going to homeschool your son and put his needs first. I have no doubt it will be a great experience for you all. I believe this because my daughter is homeschooled. 🙂 We pulled her out of a Christian school after she was bullied repeatedly in kindergarten and no one would do anything about it. She is now in 4th grade, thriving and loving it. The first year is the hardest but it is the best decision we’ve ever made. Good luck and God bless!

      2. I was really weary of it before, living in North east Brazil and not having the types of programs and stuff for kids, like they do in North America. However, we are moving back to our home base, which has tons of space for running around and playing. He loves the outdoors. It’s very hilly and there’s a lake, and he absolutely loves it there. There are also a bunch of kids on the base for him to play with. Being that kids go to school either in the morning or in the afternoon, I’ll homeschool for one part of the day and then he will be free for the other part. Of course, we’ll also get him into swimming or some other type of physical activity, as well as private Portuguese classes.
        Thanks for sharing this with me Mark. I know that this is the right decision.
        God bless you richly.

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