Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Buddy Ray!

What DADS Has Done For Me
Posted by Ray Glowner on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009

What DADS has done for me as a person and a father can not be described in a paragraph or two. I could write an entire book on how DADS has changed my life. One day I may, but for now, I will give some high points of my time as a DADS member, and of the time, that for me, set my journey as a member of DADS in motion.

Several years ago around 2004, when DADS was growing and we needed some direction, James May, Director of The Fathers Network in Washington St. came to Indianapolis to help us, as a group, get better organized. We held a brain-storming session with maybe 10 guys. We were talking about what we needed as fathers and how we can expand to help other fathers of children with Down syndrome. We were getting great information and making progress.

After a while, we were talking about how we were informed of our child’s condition and our response to the news. Some of the guys told their stories and I finally told mine. I haven’t told anyone of my experience for six years, and on that day, in a meeting with ten other men that I barely knew, I told of when I went outside at the hospital the night after Katie was born, at 1 in the morning in February and cussed God for ten minutes, screaming at him and asking: “Why? You are supposed to be a kind and compassionate God, but now you put this hardship on Stef? WHY?”

After I told about my experience, I had tears in my eyes and the other guys did also. I was embarrassed and told the guys that “if you want to have this kind of support group where we pity each other, I want nothing to do with it.” Those weren’t my exact words, but this is a family letter. I got up, stormed from the room and left. Some of the guys found me and convinced me that this group we are involved in will not be that way. I came back into the meeting and I have never looked back.

I have been with the DADS for roughly eight years, and I have overcome my anti-social ways. I didn’t like being around people, or being “out of my comfort zone”, which meant staying around the house and talking to my two or three friends I had at the time. I became the Social DAD and was responsible for setting up social activities for the kids and ourselves. Isn’t it ironic that I was somewhat anti-social, and became Social Chair? I enjoyed setting up and organizing events. I reckon it is a form of therapy. I have helped with our Buddy Walk and I even volunteered to Chair it one time. I was asked to be Interim DADS President and I ENJOY doing the things I do for and with DADS.

I told one of the guys awhile back about the friendships that have formed within DADS. I work with 150 people, and I may have four “friends” there. I get along with everyone, but I will not confide in them the things that go on in my life. Thre are only a couple of people I can do that with.

With the DADS group, I have made countless friends. These are guys I hang out with: go to a race or a football game. Go fishing with and have a drink or dinner with. These guys are my friends in every sense of the word. They have been there for me on countless occasions, whether I was using them as a “sounding board” for a problem, or to get me out and relax. Or they call just to say “Hey”.
I owe my well being to these guys, because if it weren’t for DADS, I cringe at where and what I would be now. I want to spread the mission of DADS, because if they could help me, I know that they (we) can help anyone

Awesome story Dude!

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