Father’s Day: A Councilman’s Reflection to Garwood on Loss, Legacy and Fatherhood

Father’s Day: A Councilman’s Reflection to Garwood on Loss, Legacy and Fatherhood

As we approach Father’s Day, I know that for some in our community, this day brings a mix of emotions. There are those among us who feel the absence of fathers deeply on this day, experiencing a great sense of loss. I want to acknowledge this to ensure no one in Garwood feels alone in their grief. I understand the emptiness that comes with this holiday, and I want our youth, adults and families to know that they are not alone and that their community stands with them. Today, I speak to you as your councilman, committed to nurturing a community where every individual regardless of their circumstances feels supported and valued.

 This commitment is something that is deeply personal to me. As a young boy of just 12 years old, I lost my father. His battles with personal demons and his eventual passing left a void in my life that was particularly difficult on Father’s Day. My loss resulted in great pain and suffering, but through that hurt I found a larger purpose, serving and helping others, like you the members of the community here in Garwood.

My own experiences of growing up without a father has deeply influenced my work. I have and will continue to dedicate my time as your public servant to do my best in ensuring that every child, adolescent, adult and family in Garwood has access to the mentorship, assistance, and support that can make all the difference.

As I anticipate the arrival of my daughter, I am filled with a powerful mix of excitement and fear. The journey to fatherhood is both anxiety-provoking and inspiring. This experience has led me to reflect on my father’s hard-earned lessons, understanding the importance of avoiding the mistakes that caused his suffering. I have strived to honor his legacy and have made a promise to break the cycles of trauma that have long affected my family. It has not been an easy path. I have made many mistakes and endured much pain, but I have turned my grief into meaning in two significant ways: by dedicating myself to being the best father I can be and by continuing my commitment to helping people and communities. For many years, I have devoted myself to serving others, first as a social worker and now as your councilman. This dedication has been a cornerstone of my life, and I remain committed to making a positive impact on our community

To everyone in Garwood facing this Father’s Day or any day with a heavy heart, remember that your pain is seen, and your strength is recognized. Your experiences do not define you; they shape you into who you can become. As a community I believe we can turn shared sorrows into shared hopes. The path opposite of grief is paved with meaning—I will work my hardest to ensure you don’t ever have to walk it alone.

I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the fathers in our community who grew up without a father but have found the strength to become wonderful dads themselves. Your resilience and transformation of grief into nurturing for your children is nothing short of heroic. You are raising not just families but are uplifting our entire community.

      As your councilman, I am dedicated to fostering a community built on compassion and resilience. Thank you for allowing me to serve you, and let’s continue to build a stronger, more supportive community together.

Councilman Sean Keagan Foley

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