The Sins of the Father
- A nine-year old boy is labeled the "bad son" as compared to his older brother, the "good son." When the "good son" dies from a freak accident, the father can't forgive the "bad son" for living instead. The living son struggles through life in an alcohol and drug-induced haze until a good friend, a woman, stands by his side and embraces his inherent worth.
- An eight-year old boy's alcoholic father leaves the family behind without a word or a look back. Years later, the middle-aged man discovers his father lived only one hour away yet never contacted him until he had become famous. Despite his fame and fortune, he cannot fill the void his father's absence created.
- A 39-year old man, estranged for twenty years, desires to reunite with his father now that he's a father himself. Upon their reunion, the crying son exposes the emotional pain he's been hiding.
A child, a young adult, a grown man all reconfigured for popular consumption through movies and television to tell stories of pain and redemption wrought by the absence of the father.
The "bad son" is Johnny Cash; the famous middle-aged man is Jackie Gleason; the estranged son is a recent makeover candidate on Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
Whether famous, infamous or a relative unknown, these men share something with a growing majority of the male population: the loss of a father and the resultant lack of self-worth and low self-esteem.
Millions of words have been written about the importance of fathers in the lives of women and how this connection either promotes success or failure in life. But because men don't talk about the pain of loss and the lack of male role models, they are shortchanging themselves on their journey to manhood, and many are destined to repeat their fathers' mistakes.
My father was emotionally unavailable; my son's father was emotionally unavailable as was his father, and on down through the generations. I fear my son will become the same. There's a pattern here which I hope, in this New Era, the manly man will break. Whether you identify with the father or son in these scenarios, I give you important first steps to consider:
Step #1 - Address the "elephant in the room." Acknowledge the loss you suffered.
Step #2 - Know that the mind of a grown man can overcome the fractured emotions of a child.
Step #3 - Forgive yourself.
Step #4 - Forgive your father ...
... because the three most important words in the English language are not "I love you."
The three most important words in the English language are "I'm sorry."