Watching Saturday morning cartoons with my two-year-old grandson
What I'd tell my youngest grandson about how I met grandma almost 40 years ago

My daughter is proof that there's hope for dads who come from a screwed-up father background

Me and my daughter with her youngest son who shares a name with me.
My daughter Krista holding her youngest son during our Father's Day celebration yesterday

Lots of guys including myself have a "father wound."  My dad took off when I was 18 months old.  He just completely vanished leaving my mother without a penny other than her determined desire to survive.  This was right after World War II.

Growing up, this experience left me feeling that I was permanently branded as totally unqualified to be a father.  Then a series of happenings helped change my mind gradually.  A little guy I was playing catch with grabbed my hand as we were crossing the street and called me "dad."  I liked it.

Then I met my wife.  Call it what you will, a Holy Spirit moment opened my heart to the possibility of having kids when we were talking marriage.  Then two weeks after we got home from our honeymoon in Mexico, we found that she was pregnant.  That was the beginning of an adventure that continues with five grandkids.

Yesterday, we had dinner with our daughter and her family.  I remember my excitement the day she was born.  I was floating on a cloud.  My wife had trouble prying her away from holding her.  That feeling still exists.  Now especially with her kids and family.

Can a guy with a bad father experience become a good dad?  I don't know how it happened, but the best thing that ever happened to me was meeting my wife, getting married and having kids.  That father adventure started with Krista who is now a mom of three.  Was it a God thing?  Has to be.

And we have a son Justin who is married with two kids.  This picture shows him with his three-year-old son.  I remember vividly when the doctor handed me the forceps to cut his umbilical cord.  I was totally excited to have a son.  

My son Justin with his three-year-old son.