Name: Jeff Trotter | City: Memphis, TN | IG:@dahomietrot
What does being a father mean to you?
It means I’ve been entrusted with a God-given assignment to lovingly equip a warrior. I’m responsible for my child provisionally point blank period. That provision being financially, intellectually, spiritually & emotionally. I can’t just give instructions I have to listen, talk, demonstrate, engage, empathize connect and try to understand. Being a Father means the world to me.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My Father didn’t have his birth father growing up. My Dad was the product of rape. He was schedule to be aborted. He could’ve allowed that reality to drive him to despair. Instead he chose to find his father. Forgive his father (& mother) and show his father, how to be a father by his own example with my siblings & I. My Dad earned the nickname “The Shadow” because in spite of his struggle with work he was always there.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
My father & I both acknowledge that we didn’t have to be here. Thank God my grandmother didn’t abort him. God allowed us to be here. We’re blessed to be alive!!!! So we always tell each other, “Let’s make it count.”
The thing I look back on and take with me the most in my fatherhood journey is practicing presence. “The Shadow” was somehow very intentional, purposeful, strategic and careful to be present in my life. He listens, he gives, he walks with, he guides, he shares wisdom, he forgives, he apologizes, he’s a father.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
I got a girl pregnant once in high school. I was only 17 yrs. old. She was 16 yrs old at the time. She lost that child due to some breathing complications. I didn’t want to hold the child’s dead body because there was no life there. He’d gone. I was in shock. I knew I didn’t do this father hood thing right. This traumatic loss is one of the things that gives me the motivation to love like there’s no tomorrow.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
You don’t get time back. Slow down. Don’t get caught up in the hustle of life and miss your child’s maturation process. Be present!!!! Tell your kid a story!!!! Play with them and roll around in the floor. Read, read and read some more!!! All of these things are great!!! Most importantly, pray with, pray for and pray over them even while they’re asleep. That’s what fathers do.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, love you man. Let’s make it count!
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