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So Sunday the 15th was Father's Day and I received some welcomed good wishes from my children and grandchildren. I also spent some time reflecting on three of the great fathers I was blessed to know in my lifetime, my dad, my wife's dad and my grandfather. Men who shaped and influenced my life. I have often wondered what my life would have been like without them.

Then I thought about all of the children in this world that are growing up without a father figure in their lives. Some of them, through no fault of the fathers and some of them by men who have chosen not to be part of their kid's lives. I read the writings in the Dispatch that kids write to Kinship partners asking for someone to spend some time with them and wonder why it is that they are missing that dad in their lives. Even at that young age they know how important that is and as a kid you shouldn't have to beg for someone - anyone - to fill those shoes for you.

There are lots of reasons that moms and dads can't live together but there is no good reason to forsake your child. You really only have a few short years to be there for them and it can make or break your relationship with them for the rest of their lives. Even if your own life hasn't turned out to be anything to write home to mom about, how about a little redemption by making sure your child spends some quality time with their dad. They will never forget you, I guarantee that. To all of the good dads - God bless.

Mike Holst