Can you take a bad situation that's affected your life in major ways and flip it into something positive that other people can gain from?
I learn from other people's experiences and how they handle them and that's my hope in sharing my life with my father or should I say without my father.
His name was Claude H. Thorp. My mom from Michigan and my dad from New York met while my dad was in the U.S. Navy right at the end of World War II. They were married and moved back to Bay City, Michigan where I was born.
Eighteen months later my dad deserted my mother and me. He walked out and never came back. He never wrote, never called. We heard nothing. His absence became the focal point of my whole identity. It affected me and my mother. There were major struggles. And, their effects lingered.
I found my father when I was in my twenties. He had a whole new family and was very wealthy. He totally rejected me.
His absence left a gap that was never filled. I tried and it never happened. I went through periods when I would have given anything for positive affirmation from an older, dad type. It never happened. And, it won't. I found out that my dad is dead.
I now have my own kids and I'm just about ready to retire.
I want to pass on what I've learned. Lots of kids are hurting out there because their dad flew the coop. How can they be helped? What should the dads know? And how can the moms left behind help their kids, especially their sons, deal with this loss?
That's what I'm going to talk about.