In todays world, it is statistically more common for a child to be born into a family that won’t remain nuclear for very long. More than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, with the children suffering the most for their parent’s disagreements and anger. These kids end up living without one of their parents a lot of the time, which can really impact their development.
The most important thing in this case is to have strong adult figures in your life that can provide a good example of how to live a healthy and productive life. While it may not be the same as your own father and mother, these influential figures can really help make the transition to adulthood far more smooth.
Cody Shugart grew up without much of a father figure, living only with his mother. He always wanted to be a father, but without one of his own may have found it a difficult path to navigate.
Thankfully he was blessed with Mr. Chip, a close neighbor. Cody would spend a lot of time with Mr. Chip, who went my Milton West the rest of the time. He had retired from DOW chemical and knew Cody from the age of two.
“Growing up without a father was always difficult for me,” Cody wrote in a heartfelt Facebook post. “But the Good Lord surrounded me with great men – Mr. Chip was one of them.”
“He constantly preached the value of an education, taught me how to take care of a yard. He taught me to see people for who they are, not what they look like. He taught me how to treat my mother like a saint, and many other life lessons. His contributions to me becoming a good son, man, and father were huge.”
Years later, it was time for Cody to become a father as his son Bob Wayne Shugart was born. At that point, Mr. Chip was married to a wife, named Shirley and soon they were introduced to little Bob Wayne.
Cody included a picture of his son with Mr. Chip in his Facebook post, explaining why his relationship with this man was so important to him.
“The last time we were over there Mr. Chip said he wants to be called, ‘POP.’ He says that’s his grandson. So we had to come up with a name for his wife. We decided on Lolli!”
In the contentious landscape of racial relations, it’s easy to forget that we are all just people trying to get by in our lives and live a righteous and healthy life. Never underestimate the power of a single relationship or person to change your life forever.
If you are struggling in your life, the first step is to reach out to a friend or family member who can help steer you in the right direction. Nobody navigates this life successfully all by themselves, and we all need to learn to humbly accept help when it is needed.
Did you have an awesome older person in your life like Mr. Chip? Share in the comments!