Dedication to fathers raised without a father

Casey Thomas | 6/16/2013, 8:07 p.m.
I’m not a writer, I just have something to say. This Sunday, we celebrate and recognize the sacrifice it takes ...
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

I’m not a writer, I just have something to say. This Sunday, we celebrate and recognize the sacrifice it takes on a daily basis to mold and shape boys and girls into the men and women who will lead and carry us into the next generation. We celebrate Father’s Day.

I have to admit, unfortunately, that I am one of a dying breed. I grew up with a father in the home. Someone I could watch on a daily basis; who could show me what it means to be a man. A person who could answer the questions of life that I had as a child, and even throughout my adulthood. As I took my driver’s test, he was right there to make sure I remembered everything he taught me when I was learning how to drive. When I walked across the stage to get my high school diploma and college degree, he was right there taking pictures to capture every moment that I can now share with my children. As I got married, he would make sure that those happy times would be captured for the annals of history. As I was sworn in as the youngest president of the Dallas NAACP, he proudly posed and also snapped pictures of elected officials present, and others, who took the oath of office to serve with me. He was always right there until the day God called him home three years ago this July. I miss you Casey Thomas Sr. and I will always be grateful that you were able to see your only two grandsons before leaving this earth, your wish that our Heavenly Father allowed to come true.

I can only imagine what it must be like to grow up without a father in the home. To have to be something to someone who never had a model of what that looks like. That’s why today I am going to recognize two of my friends who grew up without fathers, but have become great fathers to their children.

The first is Andre Lewis. Lewis was born and raised in Acres Homes in Houston. Even though I hadn’t heard of Acres Homes, Dre, as I call him, shared much about it with me. He grew up with a single mother who wanted the best for him. Lewis and his mom and his sister moved to Greenville where he starred on the Greenville High School basketball team and graduated from high school there.

Lewis attended the University of North Texas, where we met each other. We both were freshmen who lived in the dorm, College Inn. Even though it was for juniors and seniors, fortunately for us, they ran out of room for freshmen and had to put us there. It was pretty far from the main campus, so we walked to the Student Union and after class hung out in Kerr Hall, the dorm where most of the athletes lived. That was the place to be on campus. You could always catch a good domino or spade game at ANY time of the day or night.