Growing Up


Jake Photo By James Ward ©

My son we call Jake has taught me so much about courage and being a man.

You see Jake comes from a broken home and with twin sisters Jake became as much a dad as any man could.

But he had a hard road and at 14 I know it was more than most could bare.

His mother although a loving woman just didn’t have that mother quality, so Jake also took on the mom role. To be honest it was more like put on him even though no words were ever said about it.

At 14 he just couldn’t take all that he had on his shoulders, so he started going anywhere to get away. Lucky for us he was a good kid so the furthest he got was down the road with the neighbor’s kids.

Then one-night Jake got on his bike and came to my house which was about 10 miles away! He asked Dad can i live here. What’s a father to say but YES!

I called his mother and told her where he was and what he requested. She said ok with a sigh and a little chuckle. The laugh I can only guess was because she didn’t think he would stay.

But as the days and weeks went by Jake was still with his dad. All this time and not a word from his mother.

I enjoyed his company and really never even thought of dating, you see I had what I needed i had my family, yes broken but held together by love.

I worked nights but was up and going by the time Jake got home from school. He would grab a snack and off we went to get his sisters. We stayed together until night fall then we took them back home and then it would be just the GUYS!

We would run around town or get a movie to take home. We were not only father and son, but we were pals!

Around 10pm I would have to leave for work so I would give Jake a hug and kiss goodbye. He never said a word or shed a tear he always said have a good night dad and be safe on the road.

The girls came to live with us most of the time. Years went by and their mom remarried and was moving away. I could tell my daughters didn’t want to leave but they also didn’t want their mom feeling that all her children abandoned her so with a heavy heart I let them go.

All my children have been more loving than any father deserves. And Jake has grown into a great young man!

I got a call from my mother the other day telling me that our family dog was pretty bad off and needed to be put down.

This dog has been with us since Jake was a small boy. He’s now 20. So, this was not going to be an easy task but I knew it was for the best so i got my rifle and Jake asked if I was going hunting.

I said no and told him what I had to do. This MAN that never asked for anything or acted as if anything ever bothered him dropped to his knees and began crying like someone had torn his heart out!

I then wrapped my arms around him and said i know its hard son, but it has to be done so she doesn’t suffer.

He gasps for air and said I know dad, but you don’t understand! I asked what Jake what don’t i understand.

Jake began to speak with a low slow speech trying not to cry… Dad all those nights when you went to work. I would go outside with her. She was my only friend, my companion, no more than that she was my mom and dad!

The deed still had to be done! But when I got there, I had a long talk with my sons best friend and thanked her for taking care of him while I was away!