Father’s Day tends to revolve around BBQs and prank gifts. But for my father, there aren’t enough silly t-shirts or hot dogs in the world that could express the amount of gratitude, love, and appreciation I hold for him, and all the love he has given not only to me but to my son Braeden.
In 2015, I was sent to prison. But my dad didn’t abandon me. In fact, he took time every Saturday for 13 months to drive over an hour to bring my son up to visit me. On those nights when I was struggling and felt all alone, wanting nothing more than to be home with my family, not all strung out on meth, the one thing that kept me from giving up was the texts from my dad checking in to see if I was okay, and reminding me not to give up.
When I went to treatment, my dad showed up every family week, to not only support me but also to learn about addiction and the many ways it affects everyone in the family. He wanted to learn what he could do to help me, my recovery, and to provide self-care for himself.
The texts with positive words of encouragement, inspirational quotes about never giving up, life in recovery, always including the serenity prayer, reminding me I am not my addiction, I am not who meth wanted me to be.
In addition to Braeden, my dad has three granddaughters. He’s the best grandpa. He loves to spend time with them playing video games throwing a football around outside.
I have a wonderful life now. I am employed as a mental health specialist, I live in my own apartment, I have my own car, I am a mom, and I am a daughter. But what’s even better is knowing that my dad can go to sleep at night without worrying about me, wondering if I’m okay.
There aren’t enough words in this world that could ever express the gratitude and love in my heart for him. Thank you, Dad, for never giving up on me.
Anne Emerson is a Shatterproof Ambassador.