Father Figures: The Tie That Binds

“For me, being a dad can only be described as an adventure.

An often Herculean navigation of twists and turns, good ‘weather’ and bad, tears, laughter, screams of joy and cries of sorrow.

I am a dad to 15. Biological, trans-racial, special needs, domestic and international foster/adoptive parent, advocate and warrior for the weak. Helper to my children who gracefully battle cancer, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, ADHD, bipolar disorder, autism, epilepsy, mental illness and more.

I have the most amazing view of an extraordinary landscape made of all shapes, sizes and colors. The common thread, the tie that binds, is love and respect for similarities but more importantly love and respect for the differences. Our ‘patchwork quilt’ of a family has been sewn together and stitched in love and bound with grace.

I humbly serve as Patriarch and never take for granted the immense responsibility bestowed on us as dads!”

– Rick Ingle

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Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Father Figures: The Small Things

“This is my husband and daughter. As you can see, the love they have for each other has not changed.

I remember asking my husband as we were getting to know each other many moons ago, ‘What is one thing you want in your life that you don’t have?’ His answer was immediate, ‘A daughter.’

Who knew I would end up being the lucky gal to give that to him?

He is a wonderful father to three children, but she is our only daughter. He’s the kind of dad that knows and cares enough to pay attention to the small things.

When she’s cranky every month, he goes to the store and buys her favorite chocolate, a Coke and some Midol and then retreats to a safe distance for survival. Then, when she feels better, she still crawls into his lap and hugs him.

She will know how a man is supposed to treat a woman, not only because of how well he treats her, but she also sees how he treats her mother.”

– Christina Miller

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8-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Breaks Girl Scout Cookie Record by Selling 32k+ Boxes

Lilly Bumpus 8yo Cancer Survivor Cookies
(Facebook/lilly.bumpus.9)

“Anything is possible when you make it possible!” Those were the wiser-than-her year’s words from 8-year-old Lilly Bumpus, words she held onto when she beat childhood cancer, and a mantra she came back to when she set the national record for my Girl Scout Cookies in one season earlier this spring. Lilly shattered the record by selling 32,484 boxes of cookies, a truly astonishing feat. She beat the previous record by more than 8,000 boxes.

And, she’s using some of the proceeds to give back to other childhood cancer warriors in hospitals around the nation. Part of her tally was 5,000 donation boxes that will be going to other kids suffering from cancer, helping feed the homeless, and to deployed troops.

Lilly was born with a form of childhood cancer and has been cancer-free for 7 years, although the road has had its share of difficulties for her, according to her mom. Because of cancer, she can’t do physical activities like sports and cheerleading, so her mom got her involved in Girl Scouts so she could have some normal extracurricular activity. When she hit the 7-year cancer-free mark, her family shared her accomplishment:

“Let my Lilly remind you today, Don’t EVER give up on your dreams. No matter how big or small. No matter if it’s for your physical or mental Health… YOU ARE WORTH IT! Keep fighting and know when YOU prove the impossible is possible, you light a way for others to follow. Be the light. Always be the light.”

This was a hard year to sell for Girl Scouts since a lot of traditional methods were limited due to COVID. No more having dad sell boxes in the office when everyone is remote, no more door-to-door sales in most of the country. But, for the second straight year, troops could sell online, and Lilly was in a booth selling with every free moment, in addition to making cookie deliveries before and after school most days.

Her mom said “When I told her at the beginning of the season how tough it would be to sell this year, she told me, ‘Nothing is impossible if everybody chose to make it possible.'”

Lilly said it meant so much to her to see that final number.

Her mom thanked the community for their support when they officially broke the record. She also thanked other families of “cancer warriors” from around the country who helped their crusade by buying boxes from Lilly. She also said when she told Lilly that people overseas even bought boxes, Lilly replied:

“The world hates cancer just like we do mom. It’s time for us all to work together to end it! End it for once and for all”

Her mom responded by posting:

“Dear world…… you’re showing my 8 year old cookie hustling cancer survivor that together we can and will end cancer. That nothing is impossible when you make it possible!”

Lilly’s story and her hustle are incredible, and it will take people like her (and so many others) to end the scourge of childhood cancer.

Boys Who Play Video Games Linked To Lower Risk of Depression

Video Games Lowers Depression Risk
(Getty/Westend61)

One of the craziest culture changes for Dads of a certain age has been the attitude towards gaming. Once the scourge of pearl-clutchers everywhere, video games were blamed for everything from falling grades to violent crimes. Now, we have professional gamers, Dad gamers, proof that playing together with your kids is good, and more.

The latest is a research study that found boys who regularly play video games at age 11 were less likely to develop depression years later. The study, published by Psychological Medicine, found that boys who played video games most days had 24 percent fewer depression symptoms three years later than boys who rarely played video games. This finding was most significant among boys with low activity levels, so it’s not suggesting you can’t make your kids run around all day in the backyard if that’s what they like to do.

What it IS saying, though, is that if you have a kid that’s not super active, playing video games is not a bad recreation. They’ve been proven to help problem-solving skills and have added social and cooperative benefits. Video games aren’t bad anymore, is the point.

Caveat; anything can be bad in excess, obviously if your kids are playing 18 hours of Fortnite a day, that *may* be something to look into. But if your kid likes some gaming time, well join the dang club.

“While we cannot confirm whether playing video games actually improves mental health, it didn’t appear harmful in our study and may have some benefits,” the lead author of the study said. “Particularly during the pandemic, video games have been an important social platform for young people.”

Video games can benefit the mental health of children is the takeaway. But let’s not think they are just for kids, as the many, many people of The Dad Gaming Group can tell you, those mental health benefits are out there for anyone who can get in some quality time on Rocket League, Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, FIFA, Red Dead Redemption II, or whatever your distraction of choice may be.

Encourage your kids to be active, sure, have screen time rules, of course. But also remember, no matter what people in their 60s say, it’s not the devil.

70% of Dog Owners Say They’d Put Themselves in Harm’s Way To Protect Pup

Survey Says Owners Will Protect Dogs
(Getty/Renato)

Man’s best friend, sure. They are definitely worthy of awesome treats and even a dog beer for an at-home yappy hour. But how far would you go to keep your dog safe? That’s the true test of a pet owner and new research indicates more than 70 percent of dog owners would put themselves in harm’s way to protect their pup.

Whether it’s running into traffic, a snake attack, diving into a pool, or making a daring rescue from a dangerous construction site, people are willing to go to the extremes to save their canine buddies.

A survey of 2,000 dog owners participated in an extensive study by OnePoll and three in five said they actually prefer their dog to someone they know (that’s easy). 80% of dog owners said they consider their dog a family member, and 72$ said they would gladly put themselves in harm’s way to save their dog.

That’s the type of attitude you like to see from dog owners that may talk a good game, but don’t always walk it (especially when it’s cold out). More than half also said they are better at scheduling vet appointments than following up on their own medical care and 65% said they’ve been accused of spoiling their dog but don’t care.

That’s how a true bromance forms. When you’re willing to do whatever it takes to protect the other one, and when you don’t care about how other people view your treatment of them, regardless of how over the top you get.

47% of dog owners said they know the names of other dogs in the neighborhood more than they know the names of their owners (fair), and also that they had canceled plans to stay home with their dogs (rude).

Nearly half let their dog sleep in bed with them.

So while a lot of people throw out platitudes about dogs being man’s best friend, it’s nice to see some research and data that actually backs it up and proves it’s not just an empty cliché.

Cashier Who Walks 11 Miles to Work Every Day Gets A New Car From Lyft Driver

Lyft Fundraiser for Cashier
(TikTok/Rideshare_Chronicles)

Social media can be taxing at times (many of them, if we’re honest). But it also helps people connect in new ways, and helps random strangers come together to change lives. When a Lyft driver was inspired by a rider who typically walks nearly 6 miles to work every day, he put the call out for help. One viral Tik Tok video later, and the gas station cashier now has his own car to drive to work.

David Daniels, a Lyft driver in Louisiana, picked up Ed Hays Jr. on a rainy day and said Ed was in an unusually good mood. He was thrilled about being promoted to lead cashier at the gas station he worked at and was excited to work and grateful to even have a job. He explained he usually walked to work, but splurged for a Lyft due to the rain.

David was confused since the gas station was 5.7 miles away. He thought Ed had entered the wrong info, before learning he actually walked 11 miles roundtrip, almost EVERY DAY, to his job as an overnight gas station cashier. But he still had a positive attitude about his commute, saying “I get to watch the sun go down as I walk to work and the sunrise as I leave work.” Daniels was so inspired, he put the call out to raise money to get him a car.

@rideshare_chroniclesOne of my most inspiring moments as a Lyft driver. ##lyft ##uberdriver ##fyp ##inspiring♬ original sound – David

His video went viral, with more than a million views, and the ensuing GoFundMe raised $7,000 for the car. That, combined with some help from Daniels’ friend at a car dealership, helped put Ed in the first car he owned.

@rideshare_chroniclesAll of you changed a life today. ##bekind ##edthecashier♬ You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Anthem Lights

Hays was overwhelmed by the gesture and said he was excited to take his son for a ride in the car. And his advice for anyone else in a tough work situation:

“Don’t let anything deter you from your goals,” he said. “You can always push through.”

Dad Sleeps Through Alarm, Forgets Passport, Arrives 6 Hours Early for Flight

Dad Rushing to Airport
(Getty/Stephen Simpson)

RALEIGH, NC – The costly mistakes of oversleeping and initially leaving his passport at home have resulted in panicked father Lewis Atkins and his family arriving at the airport a mere six hours early for their flight.

In addition to those mistakes, Atkins and his family also hit traffic, needed gas, and missed a turnoff, contributing to the previously unthinkable late arrival.

Though his wife and two children seemed unconcerned with the timing, Atkins was candid about his panic.

“We sprinted to the gate and I see the clock and it’s inside 7 hours before boarding,” Atkins recounted. “I almost passed out, I was so freaked.”

Bush said the lesson is that from now on the family needs to allow more lead time when traveling to the airport.

The family’s flight to Charlotte is expected to be 45 minutes long.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Dad With Alzheimer’s Has Touching Reaction to Daughter’s Pregnancy News

Dad with Alzheimer's reacts to daughter's pregnancy
(TikTok/oliviasalza)

Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s is one of the most heartbreaking things imaginable. While most diseases have primarily physical impacts, Alzheimer’s chips away at the very things that define the people it affects. The degenerative nature of the disease means that it gets worse over time, and tragically, the very person who once made you the center of their world sometimes fails to recognize you entirely.

A TikTok user named Olivia Salza knows the challenges that come with Alzheimer’s all too well, as her father Joe was diagnosed when he was just 55 years old. In an emotional clip Salza shared on TikTok, she visits her now 63-year-old dad in the hospital to share some life-changing news.

@oliviasalzaTelling my dad who has Alzheimer’s that we’re pregnant after a 3 year fertility struggle ❤️ ##fyp ##alzheimersfight ##fertilityjourney

♬ original sound – Olivia Salza

Olivia and her husband Nick wanted desperately to have a baby, and after three years of struggling with infertility, the couple got the news they’d been longing to hear. Olivia was pregnant, and she couldn’t wait to tell her dad.

Upon entering the hospital, Olivia asks her dad if he knows who she is – a heartbreaking question that no child should ever have to ask their parent. Fortunately, Joe is lucid. He even jokingly confuses his daughter with Nick, her husband, before chuckling at his admittedly well-played prank.

“I have a big secret,” Olivia says, swearing her dad to secrecy before unveiling her incredible news. “I’m pregnant.”

In that moment, it’s as if Joe and Olivia are having a father-daughter moment like any typical father and daughter. There is no hospital, no disease, just a dad crying tears of joy at the news that he’s going to be a grandpa.

“Oh my god” he mouths quietly before marveling at the fact that Nick, Olivia’s husband, will finally have a baby of his own. “What he doesn’t know — of the cradle of that person,” Joe says as cradles his arms, perhaps remembering when he held his own daughter years ago.

“What you’ve done for me my whole life,” Olivia says as her voice catches in her throat.

“But that’s what we do,” Joe responds lovingly.

Even when times aren’t ideal, even when life hands you challenges you never could have anticipated, dads like Joe do everything in their power to give their kids the world. Joe and Olivia’s bond is almost tangible, and though the last several years certainly haven’t been easy, nothing comes between a dad and his daughter.

Mike Tyson Squares off With the Rock…Over Sexiest Bald Man Title

Tyson Rock Sexiest Bald Man
(Instagram/therock/miketyson/curbyourlarrydavid)

Mike Tyson and The Rock, two of the most fearsome warriors in the pop culture world, finally squared off. OK, well it was on social media, but at least the dispute was over something worthwhile and important; the title of the world’s sexiest bald man.

This all started after media reports about the world’s sexiest bald man claim going to…Prince William. Yep, somehow, some organization (the U.K. government, maybe?) decided the 38-year-old had earned that title, after 17.6 million online mentions of him being “sexy” in online blogs and Google searches, according to researchers. They did not say whether 17.5 million of those mentions came from a certain castle.

Anyway, 9th-place finisher The Rock was OUTRAGED. And, justifiably so, because that simply cannot be an accurate finding.

“How in the Cinnamon Toast f*ck does this happen – when Larry David clearly has a pulse?!?!?” he tweeted, demanding a recount.

Tyson, who did finish at No. 2 in this insane “research”, quickly clapped back at The Rock, claiming he should be No. 1.

“I should be number 1 by default because Princess William is only bald on top and so is Larry David,” Tyson wrote.

And, you know what, I think he has a strong legal argument here. If we’re giving out awards to bald people, let’s at least make sure the parameters are rock solid and it’s giving to a true baldy, not a pasty pretender.

Tyson should also get number 1 by default because he’s a heck of a lot scarier, and anything he wants from “Princess William” he should probably just get, so he doesn’t contemplate taking it by force.

PGA Pro Rory McIlroy Hits His Dad With Errant Shot at The Masters

Golfer hits Dad at Masters
(Twitter/GolfChannel)

The Masters is the greatest golf tournament in the world and it has given us some great dad moments. Look no farther than the GOAT himself Tiger Woods, winning as an old man and emotionally embracing his kids after the victory. And this year, we ALREADY have another great dad moment, although it’s about as far from a Green Jacket as you can get.

Rory McIlroy, one of the best golfers out there, showed how difficult Augusta can be during a shot on the seventh hole Thursday. His errant shot went into the crowd and struck a fan.

And not just any fan, McIlroy hit his biggest fan, his dad.

The Golf Channel shared the clip, saying it was a “father/son moment that will not soon be forgotten; Rory McIlroy hitting his dad on the leg with a golf ball at The Masters.”

“I think he was OK. He didn’t limp away. He walked away pretty swiftly so that was alright,” McIlroy said after the round.

McIlroy has been struggling with his swing, and that’s one shot he will never live done. As soon as it happened, his caddy asked him about it. “That was your dad you hit?”

“Yeah!” McIlroy replied, almost too happy about it.

It was a rough outing, but his dad took it in stride, joking that he should get an autographed glove after the incident. McIlroy said the shot was perfect, it just went too far, and that hitting his dad actually ended up helping the position.

“I think he just needs to go and put some ice on — maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him,” he joked.

McIlroy is a former No.1, but the struggles with his swing continued as he finished the first round at 4-over-par.