link to Veil of Tears movie website

A Father’s Quest

Blake wanted to be a great dad, but would his own childhood experiences hold him back? 

June 15, 2012 by Linda Leigh


“I was determined to provide a two-parent home for my child,” says Blake Myles, whose own turbulent childhood made him want to become a better father.

When he was just two months old, his parents realized they would be happier apart than together. While his mom battled addiction issues, Blake lived with his father.

“I felt safe and cared for,” says Blake.

But at the age of six, a new stepmother changed everything for him.

“My stepmother demanded respect, but didn’t give it. This led to angry outbursts, and before long I was living with my mom, who was now clean,” he continues.

But that reunion was bittersweet. His mom’s fiancé made Blake feel like extra baggage. When Blake was told he was a “waste of money,” a fistfight ensued, and Blake was kicked to the curb.

Moving Forward
For a few years, Blake shuffled between extended family members. Each home carried its own stress and tension.

“I didn’t fit anywhere,” he goes on to say. “I had no one to talk to and nowhere to let my feelings out. I craved stability and security and had no idea how to achieve it.”

When Blake met Amber, he began to trust again. He moved into her family home but it, too, was plagued by unpredictability and chaos. When the 18-year-olds learned of Amber’s pregnancy, they began to formulate plans to secure an apartment of their own.

In his efforts to support his young family, Blake obtained employment as a construction worker. But it wasn’t long before a wrist injury left him applying for social assistance.

Receiving that assistance, though, meant Blake had to develop a plan for finding employment. He was well aware that his decision to drop out of school after Grade 11 would make it harder for him to find a job. Now, he dedicated himself to completing high school.

Finding Support
Located in Ottawa, The Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre for Young Parents continues nearly a century’s tradition of providing a wide range of services to pregnant and parenting youth and their children.

In 2011, Blake, who struggled with human interaction and was extremely shy, completed the centre’s high-school correspondence and life-skills courses.

“The Army’s caring, supportive environment restored my self-worth and helped me to move forward,” he says.

Then Blake heard about the centre’s new program designed especially for dads.

“Having my daughter was a life-changing event for me. Being a parent is rewarding, but also complex and challenging. I welcomed the extra help, guidance and support the program offered.”

David Milnes, a fathering worker at the centre, says good kids don’t just happen—they are nurtured by caring, involved and responsible adults.

“Our program focuses on young men who make the conscious choice to be the solid role models their children long for and need,” he explains. “And what better way to learn than from other dads who share their experiences of struggle and joy along the journey.”

Today, 21-year-old Blake is hopeful about the future. He is studying police foundations—a college diploma that prepares students to work in a variety of law-enforcement sectors—and growing and learning all the time. His feelings of emptiness and pain have been replaced by passion and the drive to build a strong, healthy family.

But when Blake feels overwhelmed and tormented by emotional overload, he knows who he can call. At The Salvation Army, he’ll find what he needs.

Speak Your Mind

*

Returning Home

Returning Home

What would it take to bring Roma Whittle back to God?

Christ in Context

Christ in Context

What l’ve learned about being all things to all people.

Opinion & Critical Thought

Summer Escape?

Summer Escape?

Poverty doesn’t take a vacation.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

A volunteer puts holiness in action by mentoring an adult with special needs.

Territorial News

Army Aids Thousands After Saskatchewan Wildfires

Army Aids Thousands After Saskatchewan Wildfires

Reception centres and thrift stores offer food and clothing to evacuees.

Kamloops Army Celebrates 100 Years

Kamloops Army Celebrates 100 Years

Dr. Tony Campolo participates in anniversary celebrations at Kamloops Community Church.

International News

Hurricane Katrina Ten Years Later

Hurricane Katrina Ten Years Later

The Salvation Army continues to serve the USA Gulf Coast.

Chief of the Staff Inaugurates Russia Command

Chief of the Staff Inaugurates Russia Command

Salvationists and friends gather to celebrate 24 years of ministry and pray for God’s leading into the future.

Faith & Friends

Wheeled Miracle

Wheeled Miracle

How could I find a wheelchair for my client on such short notice?

The Power of a Secret

The Power of a Secret

The longer Réjean kept it hidden,the more destructive its impact. Could he ever let it go?