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Saturday, June 16, 2018



As a counselor, I have seen too many doughnut burns --

when a child is shoved into a tub of scalding water, 

the anus tightens in response so that the burn is round with a ring of unburned skin in the center.

I have counseled too many daughters of sexually abusing fathers whose scars, though invisible, will never completely heal.

Single mother households are unfortunately becoming the new “norm.” 

There are a total of 15 million children living without a father in the US alone.

Despite of that, many fatherless children are still succeeding with the help of their mothers.

Many of the hollow-eyed waitresses and sales clerks you meet will be heroic single mothers attempting what sometimes feels to be an impossible task.

According to the 2013 census, 84% of custodial parents are mothers whereas fathers are 15%.

It is my feeling that Single Mothers deserve presents on Father’s Day.

Ladies, you are a gift to society. 

Without your courageous characteristics to take on the responsibilities of your own and others, where would many of us be?

 My last memory of my own father is his receding car speeding down the street called Skid Row in Detroit after he abandoned me there. 

 I can still remember running after his car, screaming, "Daddy, Daddy!"

A street person, Maude, and her little dog, Tufts, took mercy on me for six weeks

 until she conjured the courage to bring me to the Salvation Army outpost (she had a paranoid fear of uniforms.)

In FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE and END OF DAYS, you will find me tipping my Stetson to their memory.

My mother was a single mother, and she handled Father's Day creatively:

She pointed out the verse in Psalm 68:5 -

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

So I have always thought of Father's Day as Holy and God as The Father.

But what about other single mothers?

How do they handle Father's Day do you think?

Do they have a unique way of celebrating it? Does it make them sad? Angry?

Some mothers get mad at others thinking they should get a nod at Father's Day, saying  

"I am a woman not a man! I am a mother not a father!"

This extreme reaction says to me they obviously have unresolved issues concerning being a single mother. 

Or do you think differently?

The creator of Father's Day was a single man named Charles Berlitz, whose father, Howard Berlit, died of cancer in 1867. 

Charles made the day up to remember him.

Mr. Berlitz unintentionally made a day that is often sour for struggling single mothers and lonely children.

And the questions come murmuring in the night:

“Why don’t my children have the loving father they deserve?”

“Why do I have to do everything and he does nothing?”

“Why must I struggle financially, because he chooses to pay no child support?”

What would you say to them?


  1. Single mothers sometimes have to do it all and be everything for their kids. Not right, but they have to. Such a shame.

    1. It is the consequence of a fallen humanity. Happy Sunday, Alex! :-)

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of your childhood trauma, Roland. What a tragedy. Your father was the worst kind in my opinion. Sorry, probably not right for me to say that but...abandonment!

    Single mothers are both mother and father, no doubt but that doesn't mean fathers shouldn't have their day. When my marriage ended, I single parented for a number of years but my ex co-parented (against me). That was the hardest experience. Nevertheless, we all made it through. I only mention it because there are so many different scenarios for parenting whether it be single, intact family, or co-parenting in a divorced family. I used to plan father's day for my kids to help them get ready to honor their dad (even though it was never reciprocated).
    Thanks for the reminder though, that many of the tired waitresses and sales clerks are single moms! WE need to be patient and kind to her.

    1. Lisa, I hate to hear that your marriage ended. That is never easy, especially with children for whom you have to be strong and wise -- when so often you feel neither.

      Each of us faces more trials and carry more burdens than seems apparent to an outsider. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

  3. You own personal story is heartbreaking, Roland. Here's to all the single mothers out there who aren't being aided by the fathers of their children. But I also praise a relative of mine who would have been a great dad but whose ex-wife (a certified narcissist whose demands even shocked the judge) turned his sons against him, and he hasn't been able to see them in years. Every year, this special day hurts him.

    1. There are flawed spouses of both sexes who hurt their children to enact vengeance against their mate or ex-mates. Mankind is often anything but kind ... or loving. Sigh. :-(

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