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December 29, 2011 - ACFC wishes you and yours a Happy New Year.  The poem below was sent by ACFC member and supporter Mike H.  In it he captures the essence of lost Christmas' many men experience but ends in a way that exudes the attitude of a father determined to overcome the challenge of being separated from his children.  Together, with the same attitude we will overcome this system that pits family member against family member. 

Three Dark Christmases 

The first and the darkest painful Yule Tide
Came after a year of chasing my bride

Her anger as cold as the winter snow
Was buried so deep, how could a man know? 

With hope I had ventured across the land
Hoping in Heaven to still hold her hand
I was ignorant of her hateful plan 

To steal from me children, loves of my life
Who would suspect that from his lovely wife? 

We were celebrating Christmas that day
And because I was no longer away

My goal to make that Christmas so lovely
But that painful day I would have spared you

The pain you would feel when mommy would say
I hate you!  Get out! While nearby you played

How shocking it was on that hateful morn
To learn that mommy viewed daddy with scorn

Stunned I was also, my child and my joy
To hear words of hate come out of your mom

Your mother, my lover, my friend and wife
Gave me no warning of this change in life

"Get out" I did, twas the last time I saw
You, or spoke to you for many weeks more

We met the next week on a frigid night
I can recall the thought, can I save this?   

Perhaps I might remind her of fam-ly
Of children and of happier times when

Our love was stronger.  I thought I'd prevail
I'm sorry my child, my love, but I failed

I asked her for reasons that fateful night
The answer she gave me was quite a slight

"You're not good enough for me" said my wife
The worst seven words I’ve heard in my life

Shocked, I went through the daily motions of
Routine, hoping I'd wake from this bad dream

Thinking the worst part was over for me
Soon did I learn that I was not quite right

When six weeks had passed since that Christmas night
Being apart from the loves of my life 

The weeks turned to months that we were apart
And I almost did succumb to my heart

Until one day I finally “got it.”
I am a father, and fathers don't quit.

Back home to my fam-ly is where I went
Feeling a failure to my Heaven-sent

I went back to regroup, and back to heal
I went back to learn of strength unrevealed

Strength that was born of a weakness profound
Broken and humbled, 'twas self love I found

To learn that to love you, I first must love Me.
Because a daddy who hates himself
Cannot a good daddy be 

I attacked with a passion flaws I had
Because nothing is better than being "Dad"

During these dark months, often I would say:
“Know I will always love you and be near
I will never give up, my child, don't fear”

Well, another dark Christmas came last year
I spent all I had to bring Yuletide Cheer

No way! Not a chance! Is what she did say
These children are mine!  You just go away!

Just a short visit, I begged and I pled.
But she slammed the door and wished I were dead

I learned that tears can freeze, that Christmas day
A message from God to strengthen my heart
For His children need a daddy who's smart

Into the snow I went pondering this
Onto the motel I brought all your gifts
Thinking of ways for your spirits to lift

A visit we had, and love we did share
It wasn't on Christmas, and though not fair

Was happy to see you. I didn't care
How much you had grown!  Your feet and your hair!

Telling you Daddy would always be there
And noticing that now you might not care

Stuffing this fear because I know what's right
A child needs a daddy on Christmas night
Well, Daddy is here, loves; this is not right

I gave you my love, hon, in that short time
That time they allowed, so short twas a crime
There's never been danger from me, my love 

Never did I harm my purpose for life
No, we're both victims of a bitter wife

Sure, mistakes I have made during my life
But nothing that merits this bitter strife 

Frozen tears I pondered on my way home
And the lessons you'll miss before you're grown

If this dad gave up on this fight of fights
I will not. I cannot. This just ain't right

So a team I did hire to help me win
This unfortunate battle that's a sin

And money they did charge, hand over fist
It was payment toward our big Christmas list

But when Christmas season was 'round the bend
I realized no money I had to spend

To pay for more promises unfulfilled
And support the local lawyers guild

So I parted ways with my lawyers then
And approached the third Christmas, now darkened 

But have heart in this story my children
This is where good things will really begin

Know that your daddy has a plan for you
Because frankly, there's nothing I won't do

As I write this on Christmas the third so far
Please know my darlings that daddy's going to war

No more tears will I shed for the time that we've lost
No more lamenting the exorbitant cost

Of fighting to see you so little it hurts
No more will I let lawyers make things worse

No, they've woken a tiger whose efforts won't wain
They've taunted a father whose children are in pain
It's time that this daddy dealt some of the same

So don't you despair this Christmas my loves
Send those scary thoughts to God up above

He loves you like me, and knows what you need
Ask him to bless Daddy with strength and speed

Your heavenly father will never fail
I know cuz he's carried me through this tale 

See he's my Father, too, and he loves me
A perfect example of fathering

He has a big plan, and it involves us
Being together for our next Christmas

Having this knowledge, this passion, this love
Has caused your daddy to take off the gloves

Within legal bounds I will focus my strikes
Just anger will focus my thoughts at night

Bad things come in threes, they always do say
So we're about due for a lovely day

So don't you lose hope, your daddy is here
There's no reason for sadness, or of fear

Your father, he loves you. He'll make this right
Let's see if these bastards know how to fight

Copyright 2011 (c)