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39 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    I have albums full of pics of my kids. The problem I have with taking pics is that I miss being in the moment. I can’t do both.

  2. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Sometimes when I see old pictures I do not know if I still remember the things that happened or just the pictures that beckon the memories. I have no memory of my wedding apart from the 5 minutes of old video that hold the memory. I was 19…

    Yes take pictures. They aid the memories.

  3. Nonnie says:

    Another Friday in tears. Take those pictures, make those memories and may each of us leave an impression of His love upon those He has given us to love. I’m guessing you might not be the purposeful father you are today, had out not gone through your own loss.

  4. Michael says:


    Amen…and you’re right.

  5. Jim says:

    My history is similar but a little different than yours, but I have a similar void, although I haven’t felt it or thought about it since my 20’s and 30’s.

    I think that the lack of a father and grandfathers, who all died when I was young and who I didn’t know that well made me a better father. It sure as heck made me try hard.

    I’m thinking your lack is Trey’s gain. I’m also thinking you’ll gladly take that deal.

  6. Michael says:


    I think that the process of raising the little man has been the most healing thing in my life.
    It took half a century to come to terms with it all, but you’re right….I’ll take the deal

  7. stupid says:

    I have a great shot of my father. He is sitting on a rock next to a tree. On the other side of the tree is my brother sitting on another rock. They are facing away from each other with scowls on their faces. That sums up my upbringing.

  8. filbertz says:

    It was well into high school when I realized why my dad never attended any of my sports games or meets. It was too painful to watch one son run and shoot and leap while the older severely limped from his bout with polio. A little light crept into my selfish brain that day.

    thanks for the contribution to our collective memories today, Michael.

  9. stupid says:

    “fil?” You were the older bro.

    Scrapbooking=collective memories.

  10. London says:

    My nephew is at the age now that my brother and I were when we lost our dad. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much that loss must have meant to my brother. I know how painful it was to me, but it hasn’t been till my brother has had a son that I”m aware how deep the lost it was for him.

    My dad’s been gone 24 years now and I still can’t really process it all. I’m just now getting to the point where I can look on line at the information about the rare disease he died from, and think about having photos of him around more often etc.

    Grieving for fathers is something people don’t talk about that much, so thank you for the thread.

  11. Michael says:


    Thank you for reading and contributing.
    I hope that I have earned the right to be missed by Trey when I’m gone.
    Someone called me at work when my father died…and I went right back to work and didn’t think about it again until I got home.
    He had never been alive to me in a meaningful sense for years.

  12. DavidM says:

    I wonder what is worse: no pictures at all, or the mental images of having an alcoholic father and the heartbreak it brought . . .

  13. Ricky Bobby says:

    Amen. I LOVE my kids. Very true words above. They’ll continue to have what I didn’t.

  14. Michael says:


    Both are tragedies.
    I remember my fathers abuse, but I don’t remember him.
    My anger kept him alive long enough to forget him.

  15. filbertz says:

    No, my brother contracted polio when he was 18 months old back in 1952. I wasn’t born until 1958 after the vaccine was ‘invented’

  16. Ricky Bobby says:

    Abandoned by one, abused by the other…but hey, life goes on. You suck it up, you move forward and you toughen up…and you don’t repeat either with your kids.

  17. Ricky Bobby says:

    …ironically both were products of Calvary Chapel. Such “good” fruit.

  18. Michael says:

    My father was ordained by the Nazarenes…and the first sermon he preached in our hometown was on the evil of todays youth with me as the prime illustration.
    Rumor has it that the church was vandalized immediately afterward…

  19. stupid says:

    Like in the movie Parenthood?

  20. Michael says:

    I’ve never seen it…unless Batman is in the film, I usually don’t watch movies. 🙂

  21. PP Vet says:

    Having lunch with my five guys, at Five Guys, mañana.

    Yes there will be pictures.

  22. This article made me stop to thank God for my father.
    Michael, Thanks for this one.

  23. Today is the one year anniversary of the death of the man who was my step dad for 55yrs.

  24. Michael says:

    Thank you, Derek…I’m grateful that you’re part of the community here.

  25. stupid says:

    In the movie Parenthood the rejected son vandalizes his father’s office.

  26. ryan couch says:


    I logged on while getting ready to do some studying at a coffee shop. I’m now crying, thanks 🙂

    I really wish I had a dad, like really bad. I never had a male figure approve of me until my youth pastor came into my life as a freshman in high school. This was also the time I met Jesus and some bad theology. Like you I was told to get over my pain, God was father enough. I learned that talking about the pain of your past was unnecessary and rooted in psychology which was evil, so I convinced myself that I was ok.

    It wasn’t until years later that I realized my quest for approval was not only rooted in idolatry but my proclivity toward it came from my daddy issues; this is not an excuse it’s just reality.

    I’ve spent most of my life seeking the approval of others, desperately wanting someone to tell me that I was worth something, that I had value.

    I’ve since learned that this a failure to believe the gospel, but you know what? A dad who was present in my life would have helped me have a starting place to even comprehend the kind of love we see in the gospel.

    Now I’m faced with trying to be the dad for my kids that I never had…it’s really hard.

  27. Michael says:


    Great post and contribution to what I was trying to communicate.
    Thank you…and I’m sure you are a fine father.

  28. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Here’s something we can all agree to hate

  29. babylonthegreatfallen says:


    Just show up and half the battle is won.

    Great post, great word.

  30. ryan couch says:

    Thanks Michael and Dread.

    “Just show up…” Yes. Very true.

  31. PP Vet says:

    Nicely written, MN.

    Here’s to you,:
    Dietrich Eric Otto Von Schwerdtner
    Matthew Hormanski
    Rev. Paul Dawson
    Rev. Alexander Ogilby
    Bob Wright
    Otto Veerhoff
    Amy Barton
    Ron Ciccarone
    Bob Wright
    … and all the others who were fathers to me, after I lost mine.

  32. Michael,

    I too share your testimony of no father.
    It made me a much better father I believe. Why? Because I gave to my son all of the attention I would have wanted. I never had anyone watch me as I skateboarded, surfed, played a sport. My son had a father who watched him do all of those things.

    I would come home from work worn out and spaced out from breathing lacquer fumes all day, having spraying cabinets out in the housing tracts for 8 hours. And my son would say, “Hey dad lets go bike riding.”

    I never once said no to anything he wanted to do with me when I came home from work, no matter how wiped out i was. He never once heard the words, “Not now son, I am too tired.”

    Michael, one thing about men like you and i is we had to make ourselves. We had to define our selves. We had no model of a father to follow, no mentor.

    It is said that men like us have a tendency to be more flexible in life. Things that would crush others who had fathers do not crush us as easily .

    We had no one but ourselves. We decided what a man is for ourselves having had no model.

    Michael you turned out alright! I like who you are and where you take a stand. How you are there for others, men like us have a lot of empathy for others.

    God tells us that He is Father to the Fatherless. It is there in the Bible. We have a Father, you and I. We were never alone, not really. That is why you are so honest and hate to lie. Why you care so much about others. Why you do what you do. Your Father taught these things to you. He watched you as you grew up and corrected you when you were headed in wrong directions.

    His hand and presence is all over your life. Has always been in your life.

    Young Jesus Christ knew this. When his parents freaked out because they could not find their 12 year old son, they found him in the temple speaking with the priests. Jesus told them, “Know you not that I would be in my Fathers house.”

    We have a Father who loves us dearly and who has always cared about us and raised us in His loving care.

    No Michael, we did not grow up without a father, He was right there with us all along!

    And He is very proud of you and how you are raising your own son…

  33. Michael says:


    Thank you and blessings on you, my friend.

  34. stupid says:

    I guess a bad father is better than no father.

  35. Rob Murphy says:

    I tell my kids that I always dreamed of hiking / playing / laughing / singing / drawing / snuggling / being with my kids when I dreamed of being a Dad . . .
    But I tell them they’re even better than the kids I dreamed of.
    When pictures fade and I’m gone my prayer is that I’ve etched and molded Jesus Christ accurately for them.
    I love being a Dad. If being a loving husband and Dad is all I’m ever good at, I am happy.

    This article was so encouraging to me.

  36. Paige says:

    Just happened to find Ray Steadman’s website and learned that he was also raised without a present father…….

  37. Paige says:

    Here is a link to the chapter in the book about his life about his father abandoning the family.

  38. Sarah says:

    Michael…can’t even imagine what life is like without a father. I’ve had a rather remarkable example, although he had his stumbles and his mistakes along the way like we all have.

    Still…I am incredibly thankful for the heritage I have, and for the man I married who values his role in our kids’ lives. Not only values, but like Rob says…it is better than he could have imagined.

    Sometimes I wonder at all the pictures I collect, and I wish I had more time to work with them and put them together in books…that will come. For now, I’m thankful to have them, and thankful for the memories that are documented. Thankful for the memories they spark as well as what they chronicle.

    My Dad recently found a scrapbook from his family in Switzerland. His great-grandparent’s scrapbook. He said he could still name almost everyone in it (which amazes me, since many of them never came to America)…but what struck him more was the ornate book itself. The value that was placed on keeping these images and chronicling the family history. Now we have so many pictures that I sometimes think we get a little numb…something I’ve been thinking on, anyway. May have to work those thoughts out a little.

  39. brian says:

    Honestly when my mother passed I almost threw out all the pictures, I did many of the ones of me and it did make me feel much better for a bit. Chucked all the bank high school picture books especially the one when I graduated. That felt real good still does. I kept all the old pictures of my grand parents and my parents as kids.

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