SINGLE dads, whether abandoned, never-married, annulled, widowers and the like, face unique challenges every day. Parenting without a partner is a big responsibility for single dads who take both the role of a father and mother in nurturing his child or children.

But regardless of the bulk of responsibility, the joy of fatherhood is still being experienced by our single dads.

The 29-year old sales representative Rynald Lendon of Matina, Davao City is just one of the single fathers’ out there who continues to live a joyous life, despite being alone in taking care of his eight years old son.

Rynald was widowed eight years ago when his wife died after giving birth with their son.

It was traumatic, tragic and unforgettable as Rynald described, “Walang nag expect na mangyayari iyon. Both our families were mixed emotions about the incident. I mourned over her death and I could not even work for a month. I was so depressed but I realized that my wife left me with an angel, our son. I got up and continued to live for my son.”

He said that his life changed since he started recognizing the importance of being a father to his son, “It was not an easy journey. I married young and became widowed at a young age. My life totally changed. I learned not just to work hard for myself but to provide a good life to my son.”

He said that when his son was just a little kid he already told him about his mother and said that she is now an angel, “Masaya ako kasi nakakaintindi ang aking anak kahit paminsan-minsan sinasabi niyang gusto niyang maka-experience ng may mommy. May mga araw na sabay kaming nagmumuni ng anak ko, umiiyak at tumatawa dahil naiisip ang aking asawa.”

But despite all the challenges he added, “I could not make it without God. He is the source of my strength. He taught me to love my son more and now that he is still young, I will always be here to give him love and care just as what I promised my wife.”

He said that being a single father is not easy but the key to enduring all the challenges is faith, “When you have no faith, you will lose everything. Hindi naman kailangan na maibigay natin lahat ng material things sa ating anak. Mas mahalaga na mag instill tayo ng good values para paglaki nila, magkakaroon sila ng direksyon sa buhay.”

As a single father, Rynald said that he is not planning to meet another woman. He said that he will just owe everything to God, “Kung may ibibigay ang Panginoon, mabuti. Pero sa ngayon, gusto ko munang maging tatay para sa anak ko.”

Whether single or with a partner, our father, daddy, papa, ama, tatay deserves to be honored not just this Father’s Day but for the rest of our lives.

Happy Father’s Day!