As Raoul Moat lay on the grass, his gun pointed at his neck, witnesses heard him tell police: “I have not got a dad – no one cares about me.”
Two days on and, to be honest, those words still haunt me. Why is that? Not sure really – maybe because I have this job and fatherhood is very close to my heart.
Maybe its because, although my dad was around physically, he was never around emotionally and a part of me can connect with the sentiment behind the need to connect more to my own dad. Maybe its because for a split second, I heard a human being’s cry from deep within about something so fundamentally important that everything else went blurry.
One paper wrote this to sum up what happened on Saturday morning:
“Finally, at 1.15am, Moat, who never knew his father and whose mother had disowned him, tucked the shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger in circumstances which are now under investigation.”
My own parents have disowned me three times over my life; have I done hideous unforgivable things?
No. The first time was because I didn’t hang my sister’s washing out when I was 16 – not quite up there with murder or domestic violence, is it? But something within my folks made them decide that that was the best course of action and, to be honest, I have spent my adult life working my way through the deep feelings of resentment, anger, pain and loss that their actions sowed into my thinking.
I have had many talks with mates, my wife and yes, my folks to try and get some clarity and for – want of a better word – freedom.
Why? Because I want to be the best dad I can be for my boys. I don’t want to make mistakes, to say things in the heat of the moment that leave lifelong wounds in my children. I want to be a better man – a better dad.
Let me leave you with one thought today:
What deep stuff are you dealing with in order to be the dad you want to be?