If you know anything about The Extension, you know we have many, many success stories. We don’t claim to be perfect but our results speak for themselves. Read on for a story as told by the daughter of one of our success stories.
Eight years ago, the day before my birthday, my father enrolled at The Extension as he was struggling with heavy addictions. Prior to him working on his recovery, our relationship was strained. We were all still grieving the passing of my mother and his erratic behavior was not helping our wounds heal. To protect myself from being bitter, I cut off all contact with him for months.
Then one day at church…I ran into him. I didn’t know what to say. I was angry with him because I felt like he had let our family down when we needed him the most. Although I wanted to be upset with him, I could tell by looking at him that he had changed. The moment he said “Hi Lulu!” with that smile that makes the corner of his eyes slant…my walls came tumbling down. Since then he has been the epitome of a conqueror and I’m so proud of him.
I want to take this opportunity to honor my father. First let me say that honor is not based on conditions…when you’re dealing with people, they will always fail you and fall short of your expectations. My Dad is no exception. We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, there have been plenty of times where he’s had to get me right together, and vice versa. I’m saying all of this to say, I choose to love and respect him no matter what because that’s what true honor is.
I don’t want to bore you with my ramblings so I will just condense my thoughts into bullet points. Here is what I have learned from my father.
Being a father has nothing to do with genetics: I have a blended family. I’m the youngest of four girls and my two oldest sisters have a different father from my mother’s previous marriage. My dad has been in their lives since they were three and five. He was basically their dad before I even came along. I couldn’t have more respect for a man who welcomes children that are not biologically his with open arms. That shows true character and integrity and I love him for that!
Your past does not determine your present: My dad came from a broken home. He grew up very poor with five siblings. He was even placed in foster care for some time. He had a rough childhood and a non-existent relationship with his father. Circumstances like such could warrant you to be a miserable person with a miserable life, but God had other plans for my Dad. He went through some rough patches, but he overcame his obstacles. He’s a Navy Veteran (salute!), He was a gourmet chef for twenty-plus years and now he is a Certified Addiction Counselor. Needless to say, my Dad is the most resilient person I know and I love him for that!
Laughter is healing: If you have ever been in my Dad’s presence, I’m sure he has cracked at least one joke! He has the best and perfect sense of humor. Sometimes I will call him crying and he finds a way to slide a joke in there and make me forget about my dramatic meltdown.
Of course, there’s more that I could add to this list but I’m sure my gratitude is shown. In a nutshell, I love my Dad, I feel like there’s nothing that he can’t do and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. In the absence of my mother, we are left in good hands. Not only has he been a great father but he has been a great grandfather, brother, son, mentor and friend! Tomorrow is not promised, so honor your parents while you still have the chance!
Her Dad is also a great employee and an asset to The Extension. Who is this person we speak so highly of? It’s Robert Jordan, Director of our Men’s Program.