Today co-anchor Craig Melvin has not shied away from sharing openly about the impact his father’s alcoholism had on his childhood and his family. And in his memoir Pops, Melvin revealed how healing finally began between himself and his father.
Melvin noted on ‘Today’ the changing role of dads in recent years
In a conversation with his morning show co-anchors Carson Daly and Al Roker, Melvin observed that being a dad today is vastly different from his dad’s era.
“The role of fatherhood has changed fairly dramatically over just the past 20, 25 years,” Melvin said, according to Today.com. “I mean, our dads were not able to be as involved in the lives of their children, for a variety of reasons, as we’ve been able to be involved.”
Speaking of his own father, Melvin added: “My dad was a third-shift mail clerk at the post office for 40 years. We did not expect him to be at Little League games or after-school functions. He just couldn’t do it. … I look around at the Little League games or basketball on Saturday mornings, and oftentimes, there are just as many dads as moms.”
His father’s sobriety led to Melvin’s closer bond with him
In an excerpt posted by Guideposts from the father of two’s recent memoir, the emotional distance experienced by Melvin and his dad who misused alcohol was revealed. It was a painful situation that might have continued until Melvin, his mother, his brother Ryan, their cousin Kevin and their therapist made the decision to have an intervention and confront their loved one’s behavior.
“For the intervention, we’d written letters and read them aloud, telling stories like that, saying how much he mattered to us and what his alcoholism had stolen from us,” Melvin wrote. “Kevin talked about his late mom, Dad’s beloved sister, and how disappointed she’d be to see her brother like this. I described how much my wife, Lindsay, and I wanted our kids to have a real grandfather, the kind that alcoholism had robbed me of. Mom’s letter was all about wanting her husband back. I heard her say heartbreaking things she’d never said before. Not in front of any of us. Pops just sat there. And then he started crying.”
The morning show host expressed his astonishment when his father agreed to his family’s request that he go to rehab. “I fully expected Pops to say, ‘Hell, no. Screw this,’” he wrote. “Or he’d make some vague promise to change on his own. Instead, he got up, hugged us, and then said, ‘Let’s go.’ I was nonplussed.”
After his father completed rehab, Melvin continued, their relationship blossomed with “openness, honesty, and affection.”
Melvin credits his mother for his success
The television personality added that the foundation of his childhood was his mother who, despite the difficulty alcohol had brought to her marriage, forged ahead and set a positive example for her children.
“Somehow Mom stuck with him,” he wrote. “The first in her family to go to college, she also got a graduate degree. She was incredibly strong, her love stronger than Pops’ alcoholism. There were times she carried our family single-handedly. If I have achieved any degree of professional success, it’s thanks to my Lord and Savior and to Betty Jo Melvin. In that order.”
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