Father’s Day Weekend
By: Michael Arnold
I feel it’s appropriate to say that Father’s Day is a special day for me, very special! I lost my dad early in life, my hero, my mentor. So, after years of rebellion, and playing God, I decided to surrender to His Amazing Grace, and I wanted nothing more than to have a family and be a great dad. After getting married in 1982, our first of three daughters, Ashley, was handed to me on Father’s Day 1983. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience. Then in 1987 daughter #2, Meggie, was born – another great experience. However, two kids and two busy careers was taken a toll on our marriage, so divorced seemed to be on the horizon – but, despite many external forces, we made one final attempt at keeping our family intact – then in 1991, along came Mary, and our family was complete – and although the marriage didn’t last for a multitude of reasons – the family did. I talk about this in my Autobiography, “The Fire Catcher” – however, much more is being detailed in the sequel.
Watching my family, as I knew it, fall apart was a heartbreaking experience for me – I don’t take failure well, but I knew that I had a decision to make – to walk away from a booming media career (with my star still rising) and watch after my daughters, or to have them see the effects of alcoholism and a transit lifestyle with their mom, as Gail battled her demons in a new relationship.
My commitment to be a single dad was a no-brainer. So, in 1993, after attempting short counseling, I officially walked away from my career in corporate America and became “daddy-cool” – It was a time of both heartache and joy – but to be fair, not many men are prepared to care full time for three young (2,6,9) girls while attempting to be an entrepreneur – but by God’s Grace, it soon became the most beautiful days of my life – my daughters, all three of them – are exceptional young women, and, like myself, have a few scars (don’t we all) in crawling over the broken glass in our lives, yet being a ‘Daddy’ has been the most rewarding, most exhilarating experience of my life – and now with six grandchildren, the mountain tops are even higher and the view so much more majestic.
So, Father’s Day is pretty special for me, and though I miss my earthly daddy, without my Heavenly Father’s Amazing Grace, and three sensational young girls, I couldn’t have weathered the storms and many ‘Fires’ I walked through as a ‘Wounded Warrior’ – and I finally realize, now that I’m healthy again, that it wasn’t ever me, but ‘Them’ – my Beautiful Daughters and Grandchildren, they kept me winning in the biggest game of all – the game of life – and because of them, I still get to be ‘Daddy Cool” and celebrate another ‘Daddy’s Day’ – yeah, it’s a pretty special feeling, and even sweeter, knowing that God’s in control – how Cool is that. Thanks, dad.
Happy Father’s Day, all you ‘Daddy’s’ out there!