June 2015

Fred Lay, Crisis Center Board Member
What My Mother Taught Me about Being a Father 

Each year as Father's Day approaches I am reminded that my childhood did not include a father. At a very young age I was adopted by a wonderful, caring 50-year-old single woman. She raised me by herself with very few resources. She taught me that love and hard work could overcome all obstacles. I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters - ages 24, 22 and 2 - and it is through my amazing Mom that I learned to be the father I am today.

Without a father as a role model, one might think learning to be a father would be a challenge.  But over the years, I have literally stopped in my tracks and realized that I knew exactly what to do as a father because of my Mom.  She helped me understand that children need someone they can trust to help them navigate life's challenges.

This Father's Day, I hope we all take a moment to reflect and understand that sometimes you don't have to have it all to find a way to accomplish it all.   My Mom was an unlikely person to show me the path to being a great father, but through love and hard work she showed me the way.

I no longer take for granted how lucky I was to have an amazing Mom to give me advice, hold my hand, wipe away my tears and cheer me on to success.  I know how fortunate I was to have my Mom on Mother's Day, Father's Day and every day.  Many people today don't have anyone to be their cheerleader or their support system.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is that resource for those in need. It may seem strange to think that a stranger can offer love and assistance, but I assure you, that is exactly what the Crisis Center does every day.  Through the many programs the Crisis Center offers, help, hope and healing is available for those willing to pick up the phone - it's only 3 numbers away...2-1-1.