“THE LAST FATHER’S DAY” by Tony Casson

Father’s Day should not be spent in prison, and this Father’s Day, June 16, 2013 will be the LAST one I will ever spend in one.

This Father’s Day marks the beginning of the end of my time spent paying the criminal portion of the price of my unacceptable behavior. There is a lifetime of societal punishment that will be meted out in small doses as people discover this part of my past once I leave here, but when I am gone from this place at least I can say with certainty that I shall not return. Not to Oakdale, or anyplace like it. No Arnold Schwarzenegger exit line of “I’ll be back” for me, folks.

You see, no matter what fingers may be pointed at me, or whispering is done about me, no individual on earth has the power to make me something I am not, and I am NOT what I DID. What I did to spend four Father’s Days in a place where I could not get a hug or a phone call from my children is NOT who I am. Not even close.

Even though I tried – unsuccessfully – to end a tormented life, God knew me, and it was God who has shown me the difference between DOING and BEING. God showed me that I could eliminate the one who did what I did by becoming the person He made me in the beginning.

I have a lot to be thankful for this Father’s Day. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to live the rest of my life in a manner that will please MY Father, and in doing so perhaps my own children will take pride in the fact that I am THEIRS. I am thankful for the children God gave to me, for they are beautiful and special beyond words.

I am thankful that God has blessed me in all the ways He has and that my eyes are finally open to SEE just how greatly blessed I am.

I am thankful that God is always ready to listen, ready to help, and ready to show me the correct step to take and help me find the courage to take it, no matter the time of day, day of week, or situation at hand.

I am thankful for every breath I take that God would not let me steal from myself.

And while I may not be able to spend Father’s Day with my children, at least I can spend it with God, and I can look to Him and say, “Happy Father’s Day, Lord!”

May God’s peace be with you all.

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