I’m my mothers child. A social worker and community activist, my mom showed us by example that community matters, being there for one another, helping out with the little things created a sense of family. Our family life was far from perfect. My earliest memories of my father were centered around violence, abuse alcoholism and neglect. Those are memories I can’t erase and it took a toll on all my siblings especially my older brother who saw more than I ever did as the youngest.
Parents are people and they make mistakes. I can only imagine the list of things my father wished he’d done better. I met my father 12 years later as a sober man… I was surprise. He was nervous, open and funny man, he was real funny. He had a lady friend who was warm and as nice as could be and he love fishing and told me all about. He took me fishing with him and his buddies a few times. No drinking just fishing and hanging with my dad teaching me how to bait a hook and the best place to throw a line. I love those memories. And I appreciate him reaching out to take the time to create New memories for us. They couldn’t take away my first memories of him but imagine if those first were the only memories I had.
I believe for some families our program is a healing agent, a place to produce memories that are happy, healthy and freeing of guilt, shame and blame. We create a safe space to make fresh new memories and although they sometime lay over top of scars they are still there and once great memories are real, no one can take them away.