A MAN who says he’s been blessed to play dad to thousands of children, plus his own, says he’s looking for just one gift tomorrow for Father’s Day – a big bear hug from his favourite “daughter”.
Ron Carr has been delivering care, love and support to many through his years of helping Tamworth and district’s needy children as a volunteer support person for Youth Insearch program and says he remembers the day 18-year-old Myriam Brown came into his life.
“She must have thought, ‘who’s this old man?’,” Mr Carr said.
“I just wrapped her up and gave her a big hug.”
It was the first hug that Myriam had received in her young, troubled life. She was at breaking point when she met Ron through the program, close to suicide and with severe anger management and trust problems.
“Life was hell for me at age 14, but then I met Ron,” Myriam said.
“He’s been there for me since he came into my life. He’s the father I never had.”
Mr Carr, who is also a father to three grown men and has seven grandchildren, said he was never blessed with a daughter, but Myriam had taken the place of one.
Myriam has remained in close contact with Ron since they first met and is now considered a permanent part of the Carr family, even spending last year’s Christmas day with her adopted family.
Recently celebrating her 18th birthday, and with a new chapter beginning in her life, Myriam has passed on the good fortune, becoming a Youth Insearch program leader in 2010.
She now has a move to Sydney next week, and plans to help other teenagers like herself. She also wants to study psychology.
“She’s made these marvellous changes and put the past right behind her. It was so rewarding to help her and now the sky is the limit for her,” Ron said.
Ron will spend Father’s Day tomorrow surrounded by 70 children on a camp with the youth program, and says his own boys don’t mind sharing him around.
“I’ve got a lot of love to give.”
But instead of being pampered or showered with gifts tomorrow, all dad really wants is to spend more time with the family, according to a recent study.
Aptly titled The New Dad, the study conducted by Converge International and Boston College Centre for Work, says Australian dads are looking to spend more time with their kids and wanting to spend less time at work.
While job security is important, the survey revealed employment with flexible arrangements allowing them to spend more time with their kids was outranked by the desire for high income.
This is a sentiment shared by Tamworth mother-of-five Rachel Sherwood-Refalo, who says her father Richard “is the greatest dad and grandfather ever”.
“Not only is he always there for my sister and I, and always has been, but he totally loves my kids,” Rachel said.
She said, the best gift her dad – who works full-time – could be given this Father’s Day is to spend the day with his kids and grandkids.
“If ever I’m at my parents’ house with the kids and he comes home in his lunch break, his face just lights up as soon as he sees them. He would just love to spend every minute with them.”