In 1994 Coley Harris went to prison to serve a 16 year sentence; he left behind his 2 year old son Ahmarr Melton. The two were separated for 14 years and have since both been working on their relationship. Today both of them work with youth from underserved communities focussing on the issue of father absence due to incarceration. The session is very powerful and important.
Coley is 47, he is married, a father and grandfather. Coley shares his story of ending up in prison after a series of bad decisions in an environment of street culture surrounding drug dealing, drug usage and violence. Coley opens up about the pain and how he dealt with the unbelievable magnitude of the situation during the 14 year long separation. We also talk about his relationship with his own Dad and his upbringing.
Ahmarr is 29, he is also married and a father of three. Ahmarr is in finance and also works in the community helping children whose parents are incarcerated finding their way. Ahmarr shares how it was for him to grow up with his Dad in prison and the impact the situation had on him in the home, in school and in his community. Ahmarr said he did not feel anger, just confusion. And he also shares how his own past has shaped him as a father today. We touch on adoption, discuss the issue of incarcerated parents and their joint journey of healing that started with “Outh of the Ashes”.
“Out of the Ashes” is a dramatic expression of the real life journey of father and son who struggled while building the relationship they never had after their separation.
The most powerful takeaways for me as a dad where:
- Continue to leave space for growth and dont be rigid in your own growth.
- Stay engaged, even if your circumstances do not allow for much interaction with your children.
- No matter how long you’ve gone as a father: take a shot. For the most part an adult child will want a relationship with a father.
- Fathers have a second chance as grandfathers.
- Forgiveness is key.
If this podcast helps you, please consider leaving a review and share if this podcast helps you in your parenting journey. It’ll take you only a few minutes but the impact for others might be huge. Thank you so much. Enjoy this session with Ahmarr and Coley!
Links from this episode:
- Order “Out Of The Ashes: Where a Seed Finds Life [DVD+Discussion Guide]” here: https://store.fatherhood.org/out-of-the-ashes#product-reviews
- Missing Dad Podcast with Coley Harris & Ahmarr Melton: https://podcasts.apple.com/bw/podcast/missing-dad/id1493365898
- Together for Cape Town, raising 3.000.000 meals for Cape Towns underserved kids by January 2021: www.togetherforcapetown.com
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