By: Oscar Camargo – June, 2015
I must confess: I used to hate Father’s Day.
It was a painful reminder growing up that my father wasn’t around. I envied friends who grew up with that sacred bond intact, and secretly wished no one would ask about my situation.
You see, my father was an alcoholic and it nearly destroyed our family.
Violent outbursts followed by vows of change; angry cries followed by tears of sorrow; and all in an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. In time, my mother chose to take her children away from this dangerous situation.
the memories of my father faded but his absence was felt. He had wounded me more than any physical mark he’d ever inflicted. Even though I was fatherless I wasn’t without father figures–men who offered advice and guided me into adulthood. Yet, even they couldn’t fill the void left by the one man that mattered the most.
was almost a decade before I was reunited with the man who haunted my childhood. When I met him, I found a man who was four years sober and had started a new family. I found a man who had realized the depth of his failures and, in doing so, found my forgiveness.
On every third Sunday of June, we’re reminded that fatherhood is as much a blessing as it is a moral responsibility. I’m glad my father is back in my life, but I often wonder how differently it would’ve been without his absence. The sins of my father will always stay with me as a reminder that one life can truly make a difference.
Oscar Camargo is a veteran and former candidate for State Representative. Follow him on Twitter at @followcamargo or email at email@example.com