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Sunday, June 21, 2015


Single Mother on Father's Day

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 Berlitz, 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?
Something to make you smile:


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I agree that this day could be a struggle for single mothers, but I still think it is good to have a day to acknowledge and appreciate the good fathers. Not every dad is a douchebag and the good ones deserve a day for them equally as much as mothers deserve mother's day.
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip

    1. Great Dads certainly deserve their day, of course. I just wanted to counter-balance the number of Dad Posts today. :-)

      Thanks for popping by, Roalnd

  3. What a thoughtful post! While single moms don't deserve their lot, neither do single dads. I think single parents in general should be celebrated on both days for the multiple roles they play every day. :-)
    The despicable man who left you in the street probably did you a favor - you're better off without him. I urge you to write him off in the worst possible way in one of your most heartfelt stories! :-)

    1. You're right: every single parent, regardless of sex, deserves a standing ovation for the extra hard work it is!

      Yes, I feel being without a cruel, selfish, self-destructive father had to be a good thing! It is only on Father's Day or upon being asked about him that I think of him.

      I would rather of good father figures in my novels. :-)

  4. I've always considered myself to be enormously fortunate in having a very good dad. He deserved a loving father's day, just as my Mom deserves her day. But as you know too well and too personally, there are disastrous fathers who deserve nothing that is good. Sadly, there are also single mothers who are disasters, and the same goes for them.

    Here's to the good people, from family to friends to strangers, who make our lives better.

  5. Hi Roland ... sadly the female side of life so often gets down-trodden .. and those fathers who don't support their kids and the mother of their child ... are so unfair and completely thoughtless.

    Here's to anyone who makes life happier all round - cheers Hilary