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Sons of Thunder – A Father’s Honor

Little did they know, my boys saved my life. 

My girls have played an important part in my recovery story but so have my sons. I have been honored as a father to have two boys who have been a gift from God. Unfortunately, my boys were up close and personal for their dad’s downward spiral into alcoholism. I have always been extremely proud of them and, in spite of me, the young men they are turning out to be. No matter what situation I placed them in throughout their lives they have never left my side. Through my boys I have seen a lesson in loyalty and love. A lesson that I should have given them. They unknowingly provided me strength when I had none. They set their dad on a course to recovery. Blake and Brady are my sons of thunder.

my boys

From birth these two were true life energy. Like two little bear cubs rolling around playing with happy hearts. Irregardless of the path that I have paved for them they always showed such love and compassion. The smiles, the laughter, the humor they have pulsed into our life has been therapeutic. Even through tears and pleas for me to try harder they stuck by me when I did not make the choices we all three needed. I gave them every reason to despise me yet they honored me. I am grateful for their mother who instilled in them that grace and unwavering faith in family. Through it all we have many fond memories, times that I cherish and will never forget. The bond I formed with my sons was one not even alcohol could wash away. However, I did let alcohol leave the pages discolored and damaged.

Strength, love, and the loyalty of my sons.

My youngest son Brady is now off traveling the country in search of his passion, music and art. He has always been a free spirit of sorts. I admire his compassion and love for all people, animals, and things. I struggled with so much guilt and shame in the words he said to me when he was a little boy. When his mother and I divorced he begged me to “try harder daddy”. Pleas that fell on deaf ears as I had already moved on. While I was thinking only of myself, he, at his lowest, was still thinking of the family. I would upend my son’s world several times and it is my cross to bear but looking back my son was always there. He was showing me then the true meaning of love, loyalty, and family. My sons love proved unconditional. From the moment I began my road to recovery Brady has been one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Sons of thunder

My oldest son Blake is pursuing his passion in the culinary arts. He is also an extremely gifted musician. Blake’s dedication to our family and commitment to them is refreshing. When you gaze into his eyes you can see the enormous depths to his soul. It captivates me when I see the power within him. Blake also never left my side and in time became my sounding board as I began my journey into the hell of addiction. I remember vividly being drunk in my garage and crying. Apologizing to him for being such a lousy father, as he had come to the bar to see me home. His response still astounds me. “Dad if it wasn’t for all you taught me I wouldn’t be the man I am today.” He laid with me all night that night as he was afraid I was dying. The call he made the next morning to my mother set in motion the path to my recovery. He was the strength I could never find. My sons saved my life.

They just want us back, do all you can to get there!

As I left for rehab Blake’s words over the phone sunk in, “I just want my dad back”! Ever since that day I have made a decision to be the father that I was created to be. I spent a few decades getting to my rock bottom and so it will take time for me to right all those years of wrongs. However, I draw upon the strength and love of my sons. The lessons that they taught me without even knowing are the lessons I now try to impart back to them. Recovery has allowed me to find my own voice and my own strength. I will be forever indebted to my boys for keeping me alive during a time I did not want to live through. As our days go by I only hope to become the source of strength and love for them as they have been for me. They still have never left my side and have never withdrawn their support. Boys, thank you for the honor of being your father. No longer will you have to lead and I apologize it took me so long, but Dad has got you from here.

Father and sons


  1. Rosie Rosie

    Wow, this touched me deeply Kip, thank you for your honesty and strength. The love of your family is a true blessing. You got this! God bless you.

    • Thank you for the comment Rosie, I am glad that it was able to touch you as well .

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