Name: Marques Morgan | City: Lodi | IG: @marques.morgan
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father means that I have the privilege to guide and support a young life into discovering their inner greatness. It means the opportunity to break the cycle of absentee fathers in my blood line. It means I have the responsibility to protect and develop them into contributing members of society. Most of all, being a father means that I get to leave no doubt in my kids mind that they are loved.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
The experiences that I had with my father were few and far between. What I remember most is that he was inconsistent and absent. My father battled drug addiction and alcoholism so he would be gone for months at a time on drug and alcohol binges, then show up in the middle of the night banging violently on the front door trying to get in. He never attended my football games or came to any parent teacher conferences. As child I resented him, and vowed to never be like him.
Although my father and I weren’t close because he wasn’t around, I learned a lot from him. I learned exactly the type of father I didn’t want to be. I learned exactly the type of man I didn’t want to be.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
Taking from my experiences growing up, the things that I’ve woven into my fatherhood journey are to be an active participant in their lives and to lead by example. Because my father was missing in action, I did not have an internal working model of what it meant to be a man, a husband, and a father.
Through trial and error, personal development, and reaching out to men of wisdom outside of my immediate circle, I’ve had an opportunity to piece together my own living and breathing definition of those terms. I work consistently to improve myself and be the best father and man I can like I’m sure many others do.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
My advice to new fathers is not to put so much pressure on yourself. For me, as soon as my son was born I was worried about all the things I would have to teach him. Worried about how I can properly prepare my son to face the challenges of this world. See I didn’t have a father growing up, so I had no belief that I had any clue on what it looks like when it’s done right. The best advice I can give is what another father gave to me, “You are already a great man, continue working on becoming the best man you can and just let the love raise them. They will know what to do and how to be by your example.”
If you wanted to write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
I just want to let you know that I forgive you and that I love you. Growing up, I wished for you to be there and when you weren’t, it hurt. Then after a while that hurt turned to numbness. After that, I just learned how to get along in the world without you.
Now that I am older, I realized that life wasn’t easy for you growing up either. You were asked to more than you fair share at 13 years old raising your younger siblings when your mom bailed. I understand now that the drugs and the alcohol were an attempt to cover up the pain you felt by the death of your father and the abandonment you felt when you mother left.
It took me becoming a man, making mistakes, and running into my own challenges to understand that it was that you didn’t love, it was that you just didn’t know how to completely cope with all that life threw at you. You didn’t have a role model to show you the way,
Lastly, I want to say thank you. Thank you for choosing my mother. She is one of the greatest blessings you could have ever given me. Thank you my genetics, I am healthy, strong, and disease free. Most importantly, thank you for my life. Without you, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be a father and experience this kind of love.
Name some other fathers you cosign.