Deacon Brown’s Daughters, which I co-authored with CaSandra McLaughlin, has opened up a whole conversation with fellow authors and acquaintances who grew up without their natural fathers. It’s been interesting to hear their stories and learn how, even as adults, they are forming new relationships with their dads.
One of the most interesting stories came from Carla Butler. Though she had seen pictures of a man she didn’t know while growing up, no one would tell her who that man was. No one would talk about her Daddy. Carla didn’t start demanding answers until she was an adult. She met her father when she was 30 years old and spent her first Father’s Day with him when she was 50. She wrote about her experience in getting to know herself, her biological father, as well as her Heavenly Father in her book: This Little Girl’s Journey.
I’m always curious about how things are going once estranged family members meet. In Carla’s case, she says, “Initially, the relationship seemed to be progressing quite nicely. We talked on the phone regularly, mostly me calling him.He would send nice cards and for holidays or my birthday, he often would send a token of love. We seemed to have good conversations about everyday things, not much about the family.
After meeting my second sister for the first time that Father’s Day, I came home with lots of questions. She looked so very different from me or the sister I had met years prior. Apparently me writing him a letter asking questions caused a distance between us. At this point, he will answer and talk when I call him but he no longer sends cards or initiates phone calls.”
Some of the people who have read Deacon Brown’s Daughters wanted more information–did Stanley and Yolanda start a new relationship? What about Debbie? Will he be able to have a relationship with Sabrina without Valerie’s interference? Though I’m completely in control of what happens with a fictional novel, life itself can make some unexpected turns!
Whether your relationship with your father is great, rough, or nonexistent, I pray that you will take a moment to thank the men in your life how have contributed to the wonderful person you are today. It’s not easy being a man. And not every man was ready to be a father when that time came. But for many of us, it’s not too late to move forward. The relationship may not look like a traditional father-child relationship, but it might be a pretty picture nonetheless.
Happy Father’s Day!