My mother and father broke up when I was 3-4 years old, and he came around in spurts then not at all. I promised God
when my mother remarried that my brother would never go through that when my mother divorced his father too. So for me, taking on the role of brother-father at 15 was how I learned.
Everything I wanted my father there for I did for him. From school conferences with my mother, arguing with basketball coaches about playing time, and crying like a baby when we dropped
him off for college. Mind you, his father only lived around the corner with the new wife. Honestly, I never liked my step-father, but that's another story.
My mother was still there, but he's always seen me as his father figure to the point that I've called his own father when he started called and said J needs this or that, and I've put in
all I could so you need to get this or that or bring money by. And he did as I asked.
To this day, my brother still acknowledges me on Father's Day. I feel like I've healed from my fatherlessness in the process and showed him the right way.
As a result, he runs EPIC Youth, a program mentoring other kids, many of whom don't have a father themselves, and he makes sure he's there for them. I continue to mentor and give back myself.
I serve on the board of directors for Manifest Your Destiny and volunteer with BEST kids which mentors DC foster care youth.
Do you have a special story about how you've worked to reclaim your strength? We invite you to share it below.