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15 December 2005

A lot has happened over the past year. I am about to celebrate 50 years on this planet this coming Sunday. We had a party last Saturday and it was awesome to be surrounded by my friends and family not the least my five beautiful children and my new grandson.

Life does seem to turn around. There were many times I thought I would never make it to 50, let alone have all my children gathered around me. But there you go, it does happen. And I have gotta tell ya, having my children around me was the absolute biggest thing that has happened all year.

My 20 year old son Beau made a beautiful speech in which he stated how proud he was to be my son and how much he loved me and my 10 year old son Cassidy who forgot his speech he had written out and said "No worries dad, I'll wing it", told everyone in the room how he felt. I doubt there was a dry eye in the house. I know mine were filled with water. My beautiful children Justin, Shannon and Daniel and Rhys my grandson surrounded me with their love.

David my good friend also spoke some kind words and my friend Colin put on a magic show for all of us in his coming out from a long illness.

As I looked around the room I was extremely proud to be associated with all these people who came together for me. I was an adopted child and my brother and sister also spoke of past times and how proud they were of me. My two sisters who were adopted to another family also attended and I was extremely touched to have them celebrating with me. I guess what I am trying to say is, that it doesn't matter where you are at in the moment. Darkness may surround you at present. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn't see that light for a long time, but it's there. believe me, I've just proven it............... And you know, I never thought I could.............

Thank you for all the cards, emails and gifts but most of all thank you for being a part of my life and allowing me to share part of yours

Tony Miller


The Path I've chosen has it's share of obstacles.... a broken dream, a wounded heart, a tired spirit. And yet I've been promised that if I walk the path with faith, my dreams can be restored, my heart will be whole again, and my spirit will be renewed.................Susan E. Fair


My ten year old son Cassidy's speech he left at home.

Ladies and Gentleman,

As you know my Dad's 50th. Well I've prepared a speech.
My dad has had 5 children and he has managed to make it to 50.
Some might call that good or maybe unusual, but I call it lucky.
So I wrote this poem.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I love my Dad
And you should too!

He might not be the best, but deep inside his chest he has a good heart to fit everyone in there. I like to spend weekends with my Dad and I have prepared a slide show, but unfortunately I can't show it tonight.
I'll show it to him later.
My favourite things I like to do with him are:
Playing remote control cars
Walking on the beach
Playing board games
Talking with the neighbours

But just remember this my Dad is very special!!!


Dads in Distress Inc would like to thank you for your support and your kindness over the past year and we want you to know that you have made a difference to our lives and that of our children's lives.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year, maybe one that rejoices in fatherhood more then it has in the past.

We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet along the way. We are pleased we were fortunate enough to meet you.

Thank you for being there when we needed you........

Please take time over this holiday period to remember those who for whatever reason cannot be with their children......... If you are fortunate enough to have your children around you, give them a special cuddle from dids who haven't.

Yours Sincerely

Tony Miller




13 December 2005

Well what a month. The entry of the Family Law Reform Bill before Parliament, The shocking news from Qantas and Air New Zealand banning males from sitting next to unaccompainied children. Then Santa is hammered for sitting kids on his knee and must show his hands at all times. A solicitor I know taking pictures of his little girl in a school play was told he cannot do that anymore............ You cannot take pictues anymore at your schools swimming carnival, lest you maybe branded a pervert. Where are we heading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What are we teaching our kids.......... Simple Plan tell it as it is in their song "Crazy"
Tell me what's wrong with society
When everywhere I look I see
Young girls dying to be on TV
They won't stop till they've reached their dreams

Diet pills, surgery
Photoshopped pictures in magazines
Telling them how they should be
It doesn't make sense to me

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell what's going on?
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong

I guess things are not how they used to be
There's no more normal families
Parents act like enemies
Making kids feel like it's World War Three

No one cares, no one's there
I guess we're all just too damn busy
And money's our first priority
It doesn't make sense to me

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on?
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something is wrong

Is everybody going crazy?
Is everybody going crazy?

Tell me what's wrong with society
When everywhere I look I see
Rich guys driving big SUV's
While kids are starving in the streets

No one cares
No one likes to share
I guess life's unfair

Is everybody going crazy?
Is anybody gonna save me?
Can anybody tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on?
If you open your eyes
You'll see that something, something is wrong.....


Our children are crying out for leadership and where are we leading them?

Tony Miller




25 November 2005

I just got off the phone from another dad devastated, crying, sobbing, absolutely gutted. "How can the mother of my children be so hurtful. I don't understand it." he said between the tears. " "I just want to see my kids", How hard is that". Yesterday I was counselling one of our guys not to react. He was receiving abusive sms's on his mobile that were particularly distressing to him. Not one but many. He had gone up to the police station and reported it and was told to just ignore them. Change your number, he was told. I wonder if it had been a woman making the complaint. I reckon he would have an AVO placed upon him before he could dial 000. Sad isn't it, the way our system works.

Anyway here I was telling him not to react. That's what she's looking for, I told him. For you to react. And then the next day I get an email from a woman who said "when you men can do a tenth of what a mother does for her child and hold down a job to boot, then get up and say something, until then, check how you treated your ex wives and what you can do to be a better husband and keep your aggressiveness to those who are stupid enough to listen." Well what did I do, I reacted. Lesson Learnt.

It's this very thing that gets most of us males in trouble. We react. In a lot of cases our ex partners have learnt where all our buttons are and exactly how to press them to get the reaction they want. It's how we react to that button pushing that gets us in trouble. I know of many cases where a guy has been pushed and shoved or smacked across the face or kicked in the you know what's and his natural reaction is to defend himself. It only takes a shove, a smack and bingo regardless of self defence your gone. AVO time. Yet try it from the other angle. Imagine a male walking into a police station complaining of his wife assaulting him. What do you think would happen. They laugh at him.

Today is White Ribbon Day which is an International Day for the Elimination Of Violence Against Woman with the aim of the campaign to include men and boys in the effort to end gender-based violence. In their press statement Unifem and Womenspeak state that men who choose to wear a white ribbon recognise the role they have to play in ending violence against women and acknowledge that they too will benefit from a world free of violence against women, a world that is based on gender equality.

Recently I was told from a dad how his wife had stabbed him several times after being embroiled in an argument, She had threatened to kill him and also the children. Neighbours had heard the commotion and police and ambulance were called. As they were loading dad into the ambulance, he frantically pleaded with police to protect his children. The officer's stated that they had settled mum down and that all would be ok. All he could think of on the way to the hospital was were his kids going to be alive when he got out. What do you think would happen if this story was the other way around and it was mum being loaded into the ambulance. It doesn't take much imagination does it. Six months later this same women served jail time for pulling a gun on and threatening to shoot her ex and family.

Dads in Distress Inc deplore violence of any kind. We simply state that there are three sides to any story, his, hers and the truth. We try and come to that truth within our meetings. I believe these ribbons should be black and white. Because believe it or not the system isn't. And until we get some fairness and some understanding it never will be. There is pain on both sides of the fence. Yes there are dads out there that shouldn't of been and believe it or not there are mums in the same category. Violence is perpetrated against both sides and we need to recognise that before we can have gender equality because it's by no means equal at the moment. Being a male and especially a dad in today's society is fraught with danger. Sad isn't it.................

Tony Miller




07 November 2005

Recently I visited our group in Victoria and was astounded at the commitment of so many good men wanting to help their fellow man. I heard many sad stories but none as sad as the one I am about to tell you.

In every meeting we normally have a minutes silence to think about, to pray about if your a prayer, re the fact that we lose 5 males every day in this country alone to suicide for whatever reason. It doesn't matter. It's too many. We leave an empty chair to remind us of this and the fact that some of those 5 haven't made it to a meeting.

The story I am about to tell you happened while I was there so I decided to open every meeting with her story rather then ours. And ask that our guys give a silent thought/prayer to her and her family.

It's a story about a young sixteen year old girl. Crystal's family had separated a few months ago and had moved from the family home each going their own way. The family home was put up for sale. Then one day neighbours were woken by a loud noise that sounded like an explosion, there was a fire which was extremely large and it quickly engulfed the house...

Arson squad detectives said it appeared that an accelerant had been used to start the fire in the house. Crystal's body was found in the laundry. The laundry door had been locked.

Police had said that it was unclear why Crystal, who had been living nearby with her mother and brother had returned to the house.

But we know as dads in distress. We know. And so do you.

It doesn't take rocket science to work out why a kid would go back to what was once her family home and grieve. Put yourself in her shoes. What would she have been thinking sitting there in that empty house, thinking about happier times or thinking about the arguments, the breakdown of her family or maybe both. And then the sadness of what's happened overwhelms her to the point of throwing a match to what were her dreams and resigning herself to death over life.

We in dids have heard it before. 'I just want to stop the pain'. 'I just want to stop the pain'.

Often we don't know what we have got until it's gone.........

There are no winners in divorce or separation especially the kids..............................................

If you can spare a minute sometime today in silent thought/prayer for Crystal and her family..........please please do. This could have been your little girl...

Tony Miller




22 September 2005

IT'S A BOY.......................

My beautiful daughter gave birth the other week to a beautiful boy 8lb 3oz. I was supposed to speak in Parliament House at the Human Rights Conference about dids that week. And you know what. Normally my work would take preference over my private life. That's possibly why I am now divorced. But this time I said no. My beautiful daughter and the birth of my new grandson were more important.

I rushed down to Sydney as soon as I could. I cannot explain how proud and how happy I was to be holding my little grandson in hospital the other day. I can't tell you how great it was to see the look on my daughters face when I walked into the hospital room with flowers in one hand and a teddy bear for my grandson under my arm. I was happy, proud and honoured to be able to be a part of her life. It wasn't always like that.

You see I married her mother when I was around 18, she was around 17. We moved out to what was then the farthest reaches of civilization, the far western suburbs of Sydney. Life was hard, no money, struggle city. A couple of kids with a couple of kids. No support, no idea, just dreams and dreams are fine but take a lot of hard work, something I guess at the time we were a little short of.

I saw her mum at the hospital, we had spoken a few times over the years. We said hello and that was about it. Over thirty years I guess you don't really know what to say. There has been a lot of water pass under the bridge since. A number of relationships where I travelled often with porters because of the excess baggage I was dragging behind me.

My daughter loves her mum and so she should and I know she also loves her dad and that's all that really matters. I haven't been much of a dad to her over the years and I am humbled to be allowed to be part of her life today.

And now today I have this beautiful grandson who I hope and pray has entered a world that by the time he gets old enough will allow him, will educate him, will guide him to become a father himself. And not only become a father but nurture that concept of fatherhood as something to be proud of. Hopefully by the time he gets there things will be different. Hopefully by the time he gets there we as a society have woken up and will rejoice with him when it's his turn.

While I was in Sydney my son came over to see his new nephew and we spent time together. We finished up having a meal together and talked and talked about everything, about nothing and decided to wet the baby's head together. And by the time we decided enough was enough I think someone had left a window open because by the way we were both swaying there must of been a huge breeze blowing through it.

We stayed the night together at a motel and on leaving the next day my son who is a couple of feet taller then me lent over and gave me a cuddle and said 'dad, I had a great time last night, I really enjoyed it, thanks dad.' 'So did I mate, so did I' I said.

I didn't drive back to Coffs Harbour that day, I floated back. Gee I'm proud to be dad.........I'm sorry I didn't make it to your conference but I wouldn't of missed this for the world...............................

Tony Miller




10 September 2005

Well here it is Saturday morning and Warrick rang me for my story and I had nothing prepared. You see I also write for the Fatherhood Foundation newsletter. I was wondering around a shopping centre not particularly looking for anything, just in a bit of a daze. You see sometimes things just get the better of me. And sometimes I just switch off. An interview I had recorded with Southern Cross Ten State Focus was just aired today which was just about dids and what we do. I watched the program and wondered if anyone was listening to what I had to say. Often I wonder.

You see yesterday I was walking up the street to get some lunch and I came across a dad I knew sitting on a bench crying. There were people walking everywhere and no one really taking any notice. I pulled up next to him and asked what was wrong. He said 'I can't take it anymore. They still won't allow me to see my little girl away from the contact centre. I can't even take her for an hour supervised outside the centre. I can't keep going on Tony. I feel like just giving up.'

I have known this dad for a long time. He is a Christian male and I have to say has had his faith tested more than most. All he ever wants is to be with his little girl. He loves her. He would die for her. And looking at this dad, shoulders lowered in defeat, face cupped in hand trying to disguise the tears, I felt totally disgusted at a system that continually shows no remorse for stripping fathers of their children.

His story is one of thousands. Because of entrenched conflict with his ex spouse, the only way he can see his daughter is in a supervised contact centre. He has been there for nearly 3 years. I will repeat that, he has been there for nearly three years. So this dad has been doing the right thing, visiting his little girl every fortnight for approx 2 hours supervised contact. That's two hours a fortnight. Recently I went to bat with the contact centre to try to get him out of there. Their only concern was he is so intense. He obviously loves his daughter and is very intense when he is with her. I explained that wouldn't they be if they only saw their child for two lousy hours a fortnight. I mean this dad is bottling up all that love and emotion every fortnight and of course it spills out when he is finally united with his little girl. Wouldn't you be the same. Think about it. Take your children away from you and then allow you only to see them for two hours a fortnight and that's only when she turns up and then have someone watching over their shoulder at your every move. Know that you cannot even take your little girl for a walk down the street to buy an ice-cream. Hows that feel.

The contact centre in question promised that if he attended three more times without incident he would be out of there. Those three times are now up and the mother is refusing to allow him contact other than the centre. That's nearly three years. They agree that the problem is not with the father but the mother. You see it still comes down to a financial benefit for one party and the old story of a woman scorned. Now for him to fight it, he has to take it back to the courts. Legal aid is not interested in helping, he cannot afford a lawyer, he has mortgaged his house in the fight to get to this point. He feels he should just walk away but he loves his little girl. 'Maybe she will realise one day that dad really loved her and fought all he could to see her', he tells me.

What sort of system do we have here when a contact centre can see there is an injustice and their hands are tied to do anything about it. This is just one simple case of thousands we here about. When legal aid solicitors are of the opinion that most dads don't want to see their children after divorce what hope of any justice do we have. Thankfully one of our own guys will help this dad fight his case through the courts. We will try and find justice not just for dad but for his little girl. What does she think about all this. Well she just wants both mum and dad to be happy. She doesn't want to rock the boat. She doesn't want to upset mum but she wants to maintain contact with dad. Dad has pleaded repeatedly with mum for mediation. Mum refuses. The only option is the Family Circus and to be honest we are the bloody clowns.

It's gotta stop..........................

Tony Miller




05 September 2005

Well here I was today doing a television interview and a radio interview and everyone asking how I enjoyed Father's Day yesterday. And I did but I had to say that I really dread Father's Day. Not because of my own story but of those that I hear. Dads everywhere trying to be dads but fighting a battle to just be that. Dad. It's the worst time of year for us. It's one of the hardest for a dad in distress who is battling to see his kids. If it's not his weekend he doesn't see them, it's that simple and it's that sad.

I was lucky this time, it was my weekend. I had my beautiful boys. The little guy gave me a total of six cards he made for me. Six I tell ya. All saying how much he loved me and how I was the best dad ever. I was pleased he thought that. Often I need reminding. My sixteen year old also spent the weekend with me, that's when he wasn't standing in front of the open fridge gazing at that white light or whatever it is that seems to mesmerise our youth. Sometimes he changed stance and gazed incessantly into the open food cupboard, never actually taking anything just gazing. He had already consumed all but healthy food. I love him and it's beautiful to watch. He just received his L plates, so we spent a lot of hours touring the backstreets of where we live. Terrorising the neighbourhood. He is growing up, Too quick ....I received plenty of cuddles from both and I was grateful and also sad for those dads who struggle on this particular day. The little fella decided to treat me to the movies for Father's Day as long as I paid, he got his frozen coke and we saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We had a great time with him cuddling into me the whole time. Just dad and his little boy. I was grateful.

My older son rang from Sydney and wished me a happy Fathers Day and informed me he had booked a flight for Christmas Day to travel to England. You see he is growing up and wants to see the world. He said I sounded sad when he told me. I told him no and that I wish him all the best in the world, only that I will miss him, greatly. He promises to keep in contact. We caught up recently in Sydney and you know, we just had lunch together and talked man to man but it was the best few hours I have spent for years. This little boy had finally become a man, and a good man, I love him and I am proud of him and I was grateful.

I also received a call from my beautiful daughter who I was able to catch up with recently in Sydney also. She as you know from previous posts is about to have a baby. It's due any day now. And hey, thanks for all the emails enquiring. I will keep you posted. She looks radiant, pregnancy really suits her. Most of all she is happy. She is a beautiful young woman who deserves as much happiness as she can cram in to her life. Life is tough enough. She signs off I love you dad, I love you.........I was grateful.

My eldest boy I didn't hear from but that's ok. I love him just as much as the others, he just can't see that at this stage. Life has not been too kind to him nor him to life. He has an addiction which he battles everyday and if you have ever been involved with addiction, well, you know what it's all about. He is in my prayers and thoughts every day and well I guess the day will come when we face our demons together and I will be there for him, simply because I love him, simply because I am his dad....................and I am grateful.

So that was Father's Day for Tony Miller, I am sorry if yours wasn't as good as mine but I gotta tell you every cuddle every kiss I remembered you, I took you with me in my heart and I shared my kids in thought with you.

Tony Miller




02 September 2005

I have just returned from Sydney where we have opened several dids groups over the past couple of weeks. It never ceases to amaze me with the guys I meet along the way. Absolute awesome dads who although struggle on a daily basis to see their kids, hold down a job and then volunteer some personel time to help other guys who may be struggling as well. It's awesome to see and very humbling from my perspective.

It's coming up to fathers day this weekend and I wanted to give you an upbeat happy story, unfortunately I cannot. You see we still have dads and their kids being denied the fundamental right to have a relationship with one another. And why, simply because our kids have become a cash cow in most cases. Simply because we have lawyers more interested in the almighty dollar than people. Simply because we have judges who seem to think a father should have as little to do with his children as possible. I just don't understand it.

Recently I put out a story about one of our guys in the courts for a final hearing with 67 breaches against his former partner for not allowing access. The judge said that the breaches needed to be dealt with first and to continue fighting it the lawyer wanted another $5000 up front to continue. Our guy rang me and said Tony, I simply don't have anymore money. It's already cost me $40,000 to get to this point. I cannot go on. If I have anymore time off work, I won't even have a job. His story is just one of thousands. If we could put the money spent on lawyers into trust accounts for our kids, they would be set for life.

"Have we gone mad? The guy simply is a dad who wants to continue having a relationship with his children. What don't we understand about that. This is 2005 a supposedly enligtened age and here we are playing out world war three in the Family Court of Australia Every meeting we open we hear from dads who often don't walk in but crawl in. Their legs have been cut from beneath them and they struggle. They struggle to hold on to their children, they struggle to hold on to a job, they struggle to hold onto their sanity, they struggle to hold on to community and most of all they stuggle to hold on to life.

For those dads out there where this isn't your weekend, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Please while you possibly enjoy this Fathers day with your dad please take the time to think about all the dads out their this Sunday who for whatever reason are without their children this Father's day and if you are lucky enough to have your children please give them an extra kiss from those of us who haven't.

Tony Miller




01 August 2005

Hey Guys,

I am just writing to let you in on the incredible journey I have been on over the last few months. And to say thank you and I really mean thank you. So much has happened to me in the past few months and none of it would be possible without you. Without the support you give me. It's what gets me up in the morning, it's what drives me, it's what makes it worthwhile.

I was fortunate enough to represent you on the reference group to the Ministerial Taskforce reform of the Child Support Agency. I was fortunate enough to be at the birth of the first "Men's Survival Centre" in the country here in Coffs Harbour and the first of many I promise you. I was fortunate enough to represent the pain we all feel as fathers in a fatherless society recently on the Four Corners Program. I was fortunate enough to witness the million hit milestone on our website. I was fortunate enough to see the statistics of over 20,000 calls received over the past six months. I was fortunate enough to represent the human face of fathers denied their children at the House Of Representatives Hearings into the current family law reforms. I was fortunate enough to attend the Fatherhood Foundation Conference and the Lone Fathers Conference in Parliament House and again I was fortunate enough to be allowed to speak on your behalf.

But most of all I was fortunate enough to meet you. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to share a part of your life if only by phone, email or at a meeting. You allowed me to share your personal grief and that's an honour, I am humbled. To you guys out there in the front lines, at the coalface. I cannot tell you how much in awe I am of your courage and I want to thank you from me and from my kids because it's the work you are doing, that is keeping us ALIVE! It's about the LEGACY we are leaving behind for our kids. We are MEN, we are FATHERS and that's something to be proud of, not feel sorry for.

In the past few months I have witnessed great men, men with great hearts come together for one cause, simply to put in place a fairer system then we have at present. Men like Barry Williams the Lone Fathers Association, over thirty years of fighting for a fair go for you and me. Micheal Green, Wayne Butler, Ed Debrowski, Lional Richards Ozy Dads. Warrick Marsh Fatherhood Foundation. Men like Ken Ticehurst MP and the Hon Alan Cadman MP.

So to all of you who are attending a dids meeting, those who have joined the ranks of our LIFESAVERS, those thousands of calls and emails from men and women who have put their hands up to help, to the kids who ring and write trying to find a lost dad. I am sorry that life has brought you to this site but I am pleased and proud that we are here to offer something if even just a voice for your grief.

I want to tell you there are many out there who feel and grieve and understand just how you feel. There's a bunch of James', Jims, Daves, Cols, Deans, Barrys, Johns, Jacks, Mals, Charlys, Chris', Gerrys, Dans, Lens, Phils, Bevens, Sams, Randalls, Brians, Vinces, Pauls and let me tell you Pearls, Gabrieles, Gudruns, Nellies, Julies, Bevs, Bettinas, Rhondas and many, many more. Too many to list here, who care and who save lives, every day of the week. It's these people who work away quietly saving lives. Just putting a hand out to another fellow human and offering a hand up to someone who is struggling. It's these people who do the real work. I thank you for helping us on this journey.

You are going to hear a lot about us in the coming year because we are not going away. We are going to bring about a change in this society and that change will be about giving dads back to their children. We have only just begun.

Tony Miller


Footnote:

If you have contacted us over the past months and we haven't got back to you yet, please keep trying. We have a fantastic team of volunteers who are trying desperately to handle the workload with little resources so please bare with us, together we will make this work.

Thank you.




16 June 2005

Wow what a week, what a month, what a year. Sometimes life just seems to fly so fast that by the time I pull up and look at what's happening, it's happened, it's gone. A bit like my hair!

This week just passed with channel Nines Sunday program then ABC"s Four Corners Program going to air. The release of the Ministerial Taskforce report on reforming the child support scheme has sent our base and website into overload. The media frenzy that took place was just astounding. I think I had a call from every major newspaper in every state as well as the regionals. Radio stations and talk back shows were each vieing for a couple of quotes. My mobile seemed to be glued to my ear and when it wasn't the office phone was thrust upon me at every opportunity. In between the calls from media were the desparate pleas from father's, mother's and grandparent's affected by a flawed system. The great sadness was that these pleas were mostly lost in the media frenzy. While our government now decides whether to impliment the recommendations, thousands wait silently to see if any light will be shed on their situation.

You know, in between all this, two major things happened that pretty well went unnoticed. One was the launching of a dids group in Canberra by Mr John Hargreaves ACT Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services.. We are now able to offer our services to the dads of Canberra who have been struggling thanks to the Canberra Men's Centre and to Phil Johnston who has picked up the rock and has become our newest lifesaver. I was touched by Mr Hargreaves personal account of his experience with the issue's and am grateful of his support.

But I want to tell you the biggest thing that happened. I received a message on my phone from one of my children, my 19 year old son who now lives in Sydney and who I miss greatly.
The message was simple. "Saw you on TV dad, you looked good, great stuff......... proud of ya". STOP....................................................

You know, thats the most important thing that happened to me this week. That's why I do what I do. So my kids don't have to go through the stuff you read on this site. And guess what....my son is proud of me...That means more to me than everything put together........

Tony Miller




16 May 2005

It's been a heavy couple of weeks with the opening of the Men's Survival Centre in Coffs Harbour and travelling throughout north Queensland opening Dids groups and presenting the Dids program to interested community organizations. It's been great getting to areas that have been calling out for Dids groups for so long.

The opening was very emotional for me because I guess it was the culmination of many years of work finally resulting in us reaching one of the goals we set way back when we started over 5 years ago. As I was making my speech and looking out into the crowd, I could see many faces of those that we had been fortunate enough to help. It was good to see those faces smiling back at me. I asked the crowd to remember that this was a celebration for the many volunteers that keep this service going. It was their day as much as mine. The heros, the lifesavers.

The following days I found myself travelling through north Queensland opening Dids groups and presenting the Dids program to interested community organizations. I met more hero's and lifesaver's along the way.

I listened to a young man who told me how astonished he was to hear fathers talk about their love for their children. "I came from a home where my father belted the hell out of me", "he kicked me out", just as he did my brothers", he said. "Here I am sitting in a Dids meeting hearing how much you guys love and miss your kids and yet there I was with a father who didn't want anything to do with his kids." he said. "I would of done anything for him, but all I got was a backhander", "He had a family right there but didn't want it." he said. "Why? Do you understand that? Why?" he asked. "Well I guess you could start with what sort of childhood did he have? What was his father like? Who did he model his fatherhood on?" "Yeah, he use to say his father did nothing but lay into him" he said. " "I want to help you guy's, I want to be involved, I want to be a real father" he pleaded.

I was honoured to hear his story and have him on the team. And I caught a glimpse of water in the corner of his eye as I shook his hand.

I met another guy on my travels who arrived home from work some three months ago to an empty house and a message on his answering machine. It was his wife crying and in a tearful message she said she was sorry for leaving him and taking their three children with her, but she had decided that the marriage was over and for him to 'get over it and move on' and that he will never see his children again. Clunk, end of story. He is totally smashed, gutted, in shock. Soon after he gets a letter from the Child Support Agency. He is paying that child support but has absolutely no idea where his children are. Two are severely autistic. He is shattered. "I have accepted now that my wife wants nothing to do with me, but why deny me the opportunity to spend a little time with my kids?" "I love them and I miss them", he says as he takes a deep breath trying not to burst into tears. "Why am I being punished? I have done nothing wrong", he pleads. "I may not of been the man my wife wanted, but I'm still a father and I want to see my kids, I have no idea where they are, they could be in trouble or anything", he cries. "The oldest can't speak or read or write, what if she needs me or wants to contact me, I know she will be fretting" he continues as the tears well up enough to finally let go. "I can't afford a solicitor, legal aid is practically non existent here, they don't care, what am I gunna do" he sighs as he drops his shoulders as if in surrender to the inevitable. "Even if I was awarded orders, they could be anywhere, how are they going to serve them?" he says as if accepting defeat.

After the meeting I cornered the guy. "Well, let me tell you this much mate, nothing's impossible, let's work together and see if we can overcome some of these obstacles," I assure him. "But before we do, let me say this, I think you are an awesome dad, and I mean awesome. You are doing it tough but you're hangin in there for your kids and that's awesome." I said. "Now, I have a lot of heros and lifesavers that will stand by you and they will even hold your head above water if they have to, I know because they have held mine before. So first we are going to get a group going in this town to support you and you are going to meet plenty of dads just like you, doing it tough, missing their kids and yet willing to help their fellow man. Heros and lifesavers. And we will get you some legal direction and things will work out. Sometimes if there's a mountain you can't get over, you go around it or under it or through it, let's try." I assured him. I noticed his shoulders weren't as slumped as before.

You know, I met many men on this trip and I mean real men. Blokes doing it tough but willing to help another maybe doing it a little tougher then themselves. I find myself honoured and often humbled to be in their company. I heard many sad stories. I heard some funny ones, most of all I saw Australian mateship resurfacing, something I thought we had lost in this country. Makes me proud to be an Australian.

Tony Miller




29 April 2005

I had just written to my daughter, someone who grew up without having her dad as part of her day to day life. And I wanted to share that part of our story with you.

It's been a difficult journey for both of us, but slowly we are building our relationship. Slowly we are getting to know each other, getting to understand each other, getting to hear the other side of the story.

My beautiful daughter announced to the world that she was having a baby here on our Dids website. Many have been following our story, She also announced how she felt about her dad. Well, here is a dad who wasn't much of a dad, trying to be one today and bursting with pride with his beautiful daughter............

It's never too late to reconnect with your kids. Never give up on them because they won't give up on you................

Tony Miller


Hi Shannon,

The pics are fantastic. All the boys here at work have seen them. I will show Cassidy when he comes over today. I hope you are well and everything is going ok for you. It was bad luck we didn't catch up in Sydney but we all lead such busy lives. The time will come when one day we can all slow down and just be ourselves. You know the sad part about life is that we don't slow down until it's too late. It's often when a loved one is gone that we wake up and realize that I wish I had spent more time with him or her.

I think of all the years I missed getting to know you and your brother and why, just because it got difficult, just because I got busy with life, just because there were obstacles. There are really no excuses only regret. And unfortunately often we wait until it's too late to say I'm sorry. The experience is why I have not given up now. I am desperately trying to reconnect with you and am not going to walk away from the other's.

One day maybe we will all have the time to be together and maybe we can all understand that each of us is different yet we have one thing in common, we are a family, as broken as that is, we are a family and regardless, we love each other. I love you daughter with all my heart and will accept what little or large a time I can share with you.

Love dad xxxxxxxxxxxx


Dear Dad,

Here's the pics of the baby the first two the baby's sideways so you can see the side of the head and body, nose and an eye etc


baby1 baby2




25 April 2005

The following is a true story I recently passed to a couple of our lifesavers who are working their butts off opening meetings and offering support where there was none before, true lifesavers.......

Thanks guys,

I have to say I really appreciate what you guys are doing there and I'm not just saying that.

I was driving back from QLD the other day, middle of nowhere, I had just overtaken a truck and was coming over a rise and down this hill when I see a flash of blue lights. I pulled over and the police officer asked, did I have a reason, of course I didn't, I just said you got me fair and square.

While he was making out the ticket I got talking with him and in the conversation he asked if I drove a lot. I said I do and he asked if I was a rep. I said kind of, I said I travel the country opening Dads in Distress meetings and with that gave him my card. He said I've heard of you guys. We got talking and he finished up taking a heap of brochures back to the station very keen to find somebody in his area that might be interested in getting a meeting going. But before he left he said, I guess you guys are a bit like us. You just don't know how many lives you save.

You know he is right, I took more care and a slower speed the rest of the way home.

Thanks guys for being there. You just don't know how many lives you save.

Tony Miller




11 April 2005

Tonight is the start of the school holidays, I am allowed to pick up my son, I feel extremely emotional about this because I know only too well what it feels like when these times come for men who are deprived the opportunity to spend time with their little ones.

It took a court order to get to this point. What a shame, what a shame on this society, that in order to have a relationship with your child you need to seek a court order if your ex spouse is not willing to freely give you access.

I am lucky in the sense that I went to court over a male child. Do you know if it was a female child under the age of six my chances of overnight contact are virtually nil? I am somehow classed as a pedaphile just because I have separated from my wife and she decides I should not have contact. Yet if she happens to have a boyfriend, he is allowed more access to my children than me. And I have no idea of his background.

Do you know that I was put on a stand and asked 'Sir, do you think it inapproapriate that your nine year old son sleeps with you?' 'Do you find that inapproapriate Sir?' "Well no I don't your Honor, If my son, climbs into bed with his dad in the middle of the night because he is scared, because he loves his dad, because we are given a lousy 2 days every fortnight to have a father/son relationship, because he wants a cuddle, than I'm guilty your honor, because I love my son and he loves me.

Do you readers understand that me even talking about this publicly can result in the withdrawal of my contact orders.

Why are men suiciding in this country at the rate of 5 a day. Yes that's 5 males a DAY, 35 MALES A WEEK. Sure they are not all dads in distress, but you can see why many are. We are publicised as Angry Dads. You can get an idea of why men are angry. We are not even allowed to talk openly about what is happening without the risk of loseing what little contact we have, and that's supposed to be ok. Section 121 of the Family Law Act.

Yes, I get my boy tonight and I have him for the first week of the holidays and you know I can't wait. And when I cuddle him or when he climbs into my bed tonight, I'm going to rejoice, you see we have such a small window of opportunity when our kids want to be with us and it is that opportunity that fathers worldwide are fighting for.

I want to bring your attention to our plight and ask that you and our politicians take head of The Lesson of Pontius Pilate........................

We don't know the names of those who nailed Jesus to the cross. We barely remember the names of those who falsely judged him and unjustly condemned him to death.

On the other hand, the name Pontius Pilate, the man who washed his hands and kept himself on the sidelines, lives in everyone's mind.

The executioners were more vicious, there was only tepidity, timorousness and finally indifference. In spite of all this, it is his memory that remains. We recall him both in the Creed and in everyday expressions. His cowardice, his lack of committment live on.

I find a lesson in this. We should condemn those who do evil, but even more those who have the chance to stop it, but do nothing. Evil is guilty, but indifference is even guiltier. That is what Pilate shows us as he continues to wash his hands................Armando Fuentes Aguirre, Reforma, Mexico


That is the message from those of us who are fighting for our fatherhood........................................

Tony Miller




13 March 2005

While I am writing this I am playing Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to The Head.

I'm drinking yes, It's f............ Sunday night and I miss my kids, I am not going to give you some positive affirmation, only the truth and the truth is...............................................................

This week I go to court, just to sit in the background and support the guy who struggles to gain access to his kids, next week will be the same, the only difference is a different court house and the fact that I will have my son next weekend.

I can't describe to you, what that feeling is like. You will only ever understand once you become a father and then only when you are stripped of that fatherhood will you understand how I am feeling. Only when you are denied the right to have a normal relationship with your son or your daughter will you feel that pain. And then as if to drive the nail in further you will be offered up heaps of programs suddenly able to teach you how to become a better father, a better citizen, a better husband. And then you will ask yourself over and over, was it me? Was it all my fault? It must of been. I must of been a lousy father to be in the predicament I find myself now. Maybe I need more training. training to be a better dad, a better husband. After all she left me, what's wrong with me?

Then when I stop to read this and up pops a reminder of my (our) 9 year olds last visit, I love Dad runs across the screen in a blue screensaver. I love Dad, I love Dad, I love Dad. I know he loves mum just as much. And that's as it should be. I often drive past where he and another son now live with their mum. Sometimes I pull up, just to look from a distance at the light in the window. Not because I miss their mum, because I don't. And that's being honest. We should never have married. But because I miss the family. I miss seeing my boys, I miss them going to bed of a night. I miss going into their bedroom when everyone's asleep and just watching them asleep, I miss giving them a kiss, none ever new that, I would pray to my higher power for protection of my beautiful children. I liked seeing them get up in the morning. I liked seeing them after school. I liked seeing them play, I liked being dad. I liked the word dad, I liked hearing my kids say it. I may not be the best dad in the world, but none the less I'm still dad. You can take most things from me, but not the fact that I'm dad.

You know, I meet so many people on my journey, both male and female. I cannot get over the vast difference. It seems as if we were both from a different planet. I spent the day with a guy whose wife had left for a couple of weeks in Sydney to visit family and although he missed her and the kids, he was comfortable with the realisation that they would return to him within a few weeks. He couldn't imagine what it would be like to have to fight to see his children again. He couldn't imagine not seeing his children again or what that might be like. Again my son's message flashes across the screen while I am rereading what I have written......I love dad, I love dad, I love dad, I love dad, I love dad................. Time is on your side... And it's on your side and pushing you down and so the song goes... And I have left my sons message flashing across my screen because that's all that matters. I love dad, I love dad, I love dad.............

I see my kids soon and that's all that matters in the scheme of things. I'm dad and you can't take that away from me........................................I love my kids, you can take what you want, but you can't take my love for my kids away..............I'm dad............remember me.

Tony Miller




07 March 2005

Dear Film Director,

you take care mate, you have sounded of recent times maybe a little jaded. I know you have been or certainly witnessed to hell and back in the Family Law Circus but please remember there are those of us who just want a better deal for our little ones.

This doco is important to them, it's too late for us.

I had a car accident on Friday on the way to pick up my boy. None was hurt. Hit a truck, tore off my front guard like a can opener. New bonnet, front guard etc., didn't dent the truck.

It had been an absolutely shit of a week with the bullshit hitting the roof from Dads on the Air about our involvement in the Taskforce. Barry having death threats, the Federal police involved, some guys throwing mud my way, others defending me, my own guys internalising on each other, shit flying everywhere.

We need not worry about the feminist movement doing us any harm, we can do it all by ourselves thanks very much.

Our phone system being installed and not working as it should, our donated computers not happening, our new purchased computers installed and then the ADSL not connected to the right line, so another week will be spent without internet at the office.

One of the guys offering to help pest control my apartment on the cheap, I was a pest controller once he assures me, finished up exploding the pressure sprayer covering himself and my kitchen with chemicals. At least I know he will never have fleas.

And so I top it off the same afternoon with an accident on the way to pick up my little bloke from school. I was running late and freaking out. 'He will go back to his mothers and that will be it. A blue will no doubt be about to take place I thought to myself.'

The mobile rings, it's her, 'Cassidy was getting worried, are you close she asks'. 'Yes I am just turning into the street, sorry I have had an accident', I said. In seconds I was there. Cassidy and my ex came out to look at the damage. No arguments, 'anyone hurt? Do you need a hammer?' Yes, a bit of panel beating and another apology from me for being late and we were on the road again. With me feeling my head for a bump and wondering if I had hit my head and had awoken on another planet where ex wives and ex husbands were actually civil to each other. Gee it felt nice and I wondered what if that could continue..........naaaa..........I know there's a bump on my head somewhere.....

Tony Miller




24 February 2005

Dear Film Director,

I want to let you in on something that happened today. Remember I told you of a young lady who I felt very close to and who had participated in a number of relationship courses with me but who I thought was just too young and she finished up leaving and going to England. Well I haven't seen or heard from her for a couple of years. I have thought of her often and often kicked myself in the bum for not taking the chance. Young, beautiful girl, would want and deserve a lovely white wedding and kids. I'm an old fart, married too many times to remember, I've had my kids. I used to say to her if I was 20 years younger.............

Well I've got to tell ya, I have regretted the day I said goodbye to this lovely girl.

I was in town this morning and walking back to the new office I realized I had forgotten something, not really important, just a gift I wanted to get for one of my volunteers, I didn't have to get it today and was nearly at the office, but for some reason I decided to return to town and get the gift.

As I'm going up the escalator I see this beautiful girl going down. I sing out Mary and of course it's her. My heart begins to flutter, I rush down, we embrace and we throw a million questions at each other, where have you been, what are you up to, have you got time for a coffee? Yes, So we spend the next hour or so trying to catch up. No she is not in a relationship. I thought you would be married with a heap of kids. etc etc. Yes I still want to be married and I want kids, that's still what I want, I just haven't found him yet. My heart flutters again.

You know that feeling when you are with that someone special Steve. I wish you could capture that feeling, that feeling of oneness, of love. You know the feeling I am talking about, when you meet someone that you just feel a connectiveness to and your heart just gives your head a big kiss. You know what I am talking about. If only you could bottle it.

I have sat here for over 2 years wishing I had not said goodbye to this girl. I honestly never thought I would ever see her again. I replayed in my mind a zillion times the day she came up to me and said I've decided to go to England, what do you think, should I. And I said why not it will do you good. And I kicked myself in the arse as I looked into her eyes and said it. And I made it ok in my mind by saying, she deserves better, she deserves the white wedding, she deserves the kids, I've had mine, I don't want anymore, I don't want anymore pain.

Who am I kidding, I have got a daughter nearly her age, her parents are probably my age. I've seen heaps of men who have married younger than themselves, it doesn't work. Or does it?

And yet I haven't been able to get her out of my mind. In fact to be honest I have prayed daily to my higher power that this girl finds happiness over there (and by the way if she doesn't, remember me, I wouldn't mind a second chance at it). I'm over it. I reckon I'm ready to have another go and I know this girl and yes she is young but she also has done the work. She seems even more worldly wise then when she left. She wants kids, she wants to settle down, NOW I'm ready, so do I.

I adore my kids and now I wouldn't mind more. I would love another one, I just don't want to go through the pain of losing another one. So why would I risk it, that bloody flutter I've been telling you about... It's addictive.

And here she is sitting across from me, telling me she hasn't found the right guy yet. And I'm sitting there with this glazed look in my eyes and a flashing neon sign on my forehead saying PLEASE MARRY ME and then she tells me she has started a new job and has met this guy. She says you never know. She says she is hoping, who amazingly they seem to have a lot in common. I smile, and sit there still with that glazed look and the neon sign still flashing PLEASE MARRY ME. We promise to connect, exchange phone numbers, promise to have dinner together soon. I float back to the office, not touching the ground.

I get home just amazed at the sliding doors scenario that has just taken place. Randall one of my guys comes over and I share the story with him and my summing up of what has just taken place. Here I am praying to God. Praying to my Higher Power and I mean daily, this girl has just been on my mind for months and months and I have tried desperately to find her and I have asked the good Lord to look after her and if there is any way of connecting us, gee I would appreciate it, I am really sorry I let this girl go. And what happens............He brings her back, puts her in my face as if to say here she is. And then in the next breathe he tantalizes me with her and then throws another love interest...............juuuuust to complicate things, juuuuuuuust to give it a twist. You would appreciate this Steve being a film maker / director because I intend writing a book about this very thing.

You see as I told Randall, my belief is God is up there and there is just this multi theatre complex and above each one is our own name. And they change them around weekly, sometimes daily. Today Miller's Story was on. It's a comedy. You might be on tomorrow. Who knows. But I reckon they all just sit up there and they choose. A comedy, a tragedy, a mystery who knows. But I reckon he calls Abraham and Moses and all the gang in and says let's see if we can move the chess pieces around in Miller's story today. We will throw the girl in but we will just give it a twist and see how he reacts. And they all just sit up there pissing themselves with laughter. Have a go at this old fart. Look how he is reacting to this. Tomorrow we throw in something else.

We are just playing a role in a movie my friend, that we get to watch when it's all over and too late to change our roles..........Tony Miller 2005

Tony Miller




23 February 2005

I haven't entered anything in my diary for some time. So I need to catch up. I've been flat out like a lizard drinking, getting the Dads in Distress Men's Survival Centre opened, organizing for our group to offer national support, training volunteers, the Taskforce, filming Channel Sevens Sunday Sunrise Show, that should air shortly and answering the mountain of calls asking for assistance...

I read my daughters announcement to the world on this page with tears running down my face for a good hour or more. We had spoken earlier on the phone and it was just sooo good to hear her voice. She said 'dad I have something to tell you, are you sitting down.' And then she preceded to tell me she was in a relationship and guess what, 'I'm Pregnant dad.' I waited a few seconds for it to sink in and asked, 'are you happy', she said 'happier than I have ever been'. I said 'than that's all that matter's Shannon,' I am sooo happy for you. Life is just too short not to be. Be happy daughter, grab it and hold it to your heart and never let it go.

Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you..........Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804

She emailed me during the week with

FOR THE FIRST TIME I HEARD MY BABYS HEART BEAT DAD I WISH YOU WERE HERE TO SHARE THIS WITH ME. LOVE YOU, MISS YOU SHANNON.

I replied I wish I was and that I remember listening to her in her mum's tummy.


Today I have spoken to a grandmother who lost her son to suicide because he was denied access to his children, now she is taking up the fight so she can see her grandchildren. She said he was beaten into the ground by an unfair system that fought him at every turn. She wants to help in order to make some sense of his death. And she wants to see her grandchildren, she wants to hug em and hold em and kiss em, just like we do. Sometimes life's just so bloody hard to understand isn't it.

I have four sons and one daughter from two marriages. I didn't wake up one morning and wish this upon them. This is not what I planned to happen in my life. I didn't think that I would end up through the process a few times, leaving a trail of destruction along the way. It just happened and now I guess I look at the consequences of my past actions. I cannot change them. But I can decide that my future will not be as a result of my past. I cannot change what has happened to my children. I can grieve what has happened, but I cannot change it.

One of the toughest exercises I believe a father can have or should I say, I have had, is to try and convey to my children that I love them all equally. I love them all regardless. And there are times I think, they don't believe that. I don't know how you convey that message to them. But regardless of where they are, of what they are doing, of what they think. I'm their dad and you can't take that away. And I love them all equally, their my kids...

A very clever man, a Mr Ray Lenton once told me to imagine this. Your two children have been playing in the house, while you are not there, something goes wrong and something you value gets broken. You come inside and you ask your two children, who broke this. They look at each other and point. You have to make a decision. Do you punish one or both? How does that make you feel? How do you think your children feel when you put them in the same position in divorce or separation? When you ask them to choose. Kids love both mum and dad equally. They need both mum and dad in their lives. I don't wish to put that on my children, I just wish them to know I love them all regardless. You know, I'm still learning to be a dad....................

Tony Miller




05 February 2005

3am I have just returned from a night out. A break I guess you would say. I had arranged to meet a guy from our group, our new centre manager at the local, just to have a few drinks and a break from the work. It was an interesting night as I had put this guys mobile number as the second call on my messages. He probably received at least 4 or 5 calls from distressed dads while we were there. I met another guy who stuck with us for most of the night and heard variations of his story throughout the night interspersed with see that one kissing that guy over there, well she's got a husband at home waiting for her, what a ........! he would say. He introduced me to several other guys throughout the night with similar stories of being dumped or being the dumper.

Whatever the story it was of a similar vain, either divorced or separated, male or female, they were all suffering the same complaint, disillusionment, I as per usual, must of had this beacon on my forehead flashing on and off saying 'I'm a dad in distress, come and talk to me about your problems regardless, they did.

My friend had said to me, 'Is it like this all the time' Well, yes it is, I said. Sometimes people ask me what I do for a living and sometimes I say I'm a butcher or I'm a storeman or whatever. Often I don't want to tell people what I do, not because I am ashamed, but because there follows a myriad of questions, inevitably leading to the telling of their stories. And everyone has a story to tell. Sometimes I think there is this million dollar contest and first prize goes to the best story. Often it feels like people are trying to better the last story.

The reality is, they just want to be heard, The reality is, we have a generation of mums and dads, children, grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunt's, friend's all affected by what we play out in the loungerooms of our homes and in front of our children. We are in the middle of a war where there are no winners especially our children. We place a $ value on their heads and expect that to help in raising them, when in effect what we are really saying is, whoever has possession the most, shall receive the most benefit. In effect we are prostituting our own children. We fight over the amount of nights we each have the children and who will benefit by FTB or Child Support. We fight when we are 5 mins late or 5 mins early in pick up or drop off. We fight over the phone or in person over the bitterness, the angst, the hurt divorce or separation brings upon us. And all the time our little ones are watching and listening and learning. God help us for what we are teaching them.

I wanted to tell my story, I wanted to say why I wasn't with my children tonight. But I guess that's why God gave us two ears and one mouth, to listen twice as much as we speak and when you do that, you learn a lot......................

Tony Miller




14 January 2005

My son is asleep on the couch, he fell asleep watching a cartoon. I don't want to move him to bed, because I kinda like seeing him laying there. his toys scatter the lounge room floor. But that's ok, I kinda like that too. When I step on them it reminds me he is here. Often when he goes back to his mother's I leave the scattered toys where they are. It reminds me. I don't mind stepping on them, or tripping over, it reminds me. Funny lot's of dads describe doing the same. I guess it's because we don't see them that often. This year I have had him in the second half, so we have just had our Christmas. Many I hear from are not as lucky.

Tomorrow we are Flying to Melbourne, for the little one, it's the first time in a big plane. It's taken 5 years to get to this. Finally we are having a holiday and we are going to do dad and kids things. I promise. No meetings, no phone calls, just us, I promise. We are going to eat plenty of Macca's, KFC, Hungry Jacks and all the stuff we shouldn't. We are going to try new things also. Big brother and little brother are going to get on together, we promise. We are going to have the first real, court ordered, holiday, 5 years after the event.

To all who have written to me over the holidays describing how you have survived this Christmas, I carry you in my heart and share with you in spirit, my holiday with my children.

Tony Miller




09 January 2005

Its your turn to make me cry. I have recieved a lot of replys to my email and I even see that the Fatherhood Foundation has published it. As someone wrote misery has no holiday.

I sat here reading them with tears running down my face. My son caught a glimse and gave me a huge cuddle. He asked what was wrong. I said I am just happy we are together but sad for those dads that are not with their little kids.

I then turned the computer off.
It's our week.

Tony Miller




07 January 2005

Tomorrow is Christmas Day for me. The presents still unopened sit and wait for my little boy. I am luckier than some, who haven't had the pleasure of their children over Christmas for a lot of year's. I have my boy's in the second half. Our time is just about to start. We are heading to Melbourne for a week soon.

He wrapped some of his toys and some things he made at school etc about a month ago and wrote on the cards "To dad love from Cassidy". Some have written on them "To the best dad in the world.'

He made me promise not to open them until he was hear. He said "I want to see the look on your face when you open them, dad". Funny, I want to see the look on his face as he unwraps his presents tomorrow. As he can't wait to open them, I can't wait to give him a hug and more importantly receive that special hug back and to hear those words, "I love ya Dad", cause I love ya mate.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day and I gotta tell ya, I can't sleep.
And I won't forget you guys who are doing it tough.

Tony Miller




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