Father’s Day: Local sons and daughters praise their dads


Darnell Cephas teaches his 5-year-old daughter Ja’Laiya that with hard work and dedication anything can be achieved in life.  (Delaware State News/submitted by Darnell Cephas )

Darnell Cephas teaches his 5-year-old daughter Ja’Laiya that with hard work and dedication anything can be achieved in life. (Delaware State News/submitted by Darnell Cephas )

DOVER — Chenee’ Brooks’ father means the world to her.

“I know it’s cliché, but he literally is everything to me,” she said.

She’s not alone. Today is the day people honor their fathers, grandfathers and other men who have influenced their lives.

It might not be with a greeting card, though.

According to the Greeting Card Association far fewer cards are purchased for Father’s Day than Mother’s Day. About 133 million units were sold for moms, but only 90 million for dads.

Still, many use today to hand their father a gift or spend time with him. In an informal survey, people say Father’s Day is a time to reflect upon their dad’s value and the lessons he’s taught them.

“My father to me has always been a provider and a protector,” Johnny Hunter Jr. said. “I have never been without my father. He has been there just as much as my mother.

“If it wasn’t for my father I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.”

Among the lessons his father taught him was that it’s fine to be different.

“He always encouraged me to be myself,” Mr. Hunter Jr. said. “He always told me to never follow the crowd and that it’s fine if everyone doesn’t accept you.

“That really helped me. Growing up feeling like an outcast in your own house can be hard. It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but his words of advice really helped me.”

Mayor Robin Christiansen said both parents are important, but sometimes fathers are taken for granted.

“I think the day is overlooked sometimes because people don’t know what to get fathers on Father’s Day,” he said.

“You can’t get him flowers because that’s not the macho thing to do. As a father, even though I like being taken out to eat by my children and not have to worry about paying the bill on Father’s Day, the things that they accomplished in their lives is the most rewarding feeling.

“Every day I’m a father and to see them do well is a great feeling.”

Ivan Shockley III said it took him a while to truly understand how much his father meant to him.

“My father is the true definition of a man,” he said. “He sacrificed so much for my brother and I growing up. It took me until the age of 25 to truly understand what knowledge he was bestowing upon us.

“Every time I would make a mistake,” Mr. Shockley said, “I would be afraid to approach my father because I thought he was just being hard on my brother and I, but little did I know when those ‘pep talks,’ as I like to call them, occurred he was just showing us how to be a man.

“I thank him so much because there are thousands of children out here without a father and I grew up with mine in my household,” Mr. Shockley added.

While sons learn how to be men from their dads, the father-daughter bond takes on a different character.

“My relationship with my dad was the best ever,” Ms. Brooks said. “My dad was my first hero. He was the first man who showed me what love was. I always remember watching how he treated my mom and I knew that I wanted to marry somebody just like him one day.

“The father daughter relationship is one of the most important relationships a girl can have,” she said. “It is critical for development. It is where a little girl first learns what love is.”

The father-daughter relationship can shape the woman you become. It holds such a lasting impact.”

Darnell Cephas hopes to be the same kind of a role model for his 5-year old daughter, Ja’Laiya.

“In my opinion, being a father means making the necessary sacrifices to put your child in the best position to succeed,” Mr. Cephas said. “From my father I learned my work ethic and strength.

“I was always taught to respect people regardless of age, gender or race and those are the qualities I want to instill in my daughter. I want her to know that any dreams or aspirations she has aren’t impossible,” Mr. Cephas said.

“With hard work and dedication anything can be achieved in life.”

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