Father, daughter celebrate a special Father’s Day reunion
DENVER — This father’s day is a special one for a Denver dad and his daughter.
They’re celebrating together for the first time in years.
The two haven’t had much to celebrate recently. In fact they hadn’t even been speaking.
But that all changed with an emotional phone call.
“The first thing I did after I got that call was cried, because I didn’t know what to do and I was freaking out,” said 18-year-old Tyler Hennecke.
It’s understandable why Tyler’s jaw dropped when that phone rang a few months ago.
The dad she loved as a little girl, but hadn’t talked to in nearly four years, was on the phone. The alcoholic father, whose panicked phone calls she’d grown to fear.
“I remember I would have to leave school because I would get a call from him saying I want to kill myself and I would have to be his counselor, and I think that was the hardest for me to have to handle,” Tyler said.
The past few years have been tough for Bill. Medical and marital problems, made worse by booze. He left the family and has been homeless, living in shelters and motels, and sleeping on the streets.
His downward spiral continued last spring, when he was rushed to the hospital with enough alcohol in his system to kill most of us.
“The latest was down in Porter, with a point-608 blood alcohol,” Bill said.
He knew it was time for a change.
So last May, Bill entered Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life program.
They give people like Bill a place to live, and the skills and stability to stay clean, get a job, and start a new life. They also gave him the courage to pick up that phone.
“He called me on my 18th birthday, and I will never forget that phone call. I didn’t know whether I should hang up, or stay on the phone,” Tyler said.
Something told Tyler to keep listening.
She noticed a change in his voice. Something about the dad she’d grown up adoring really was different this time.
“Thank you so much, I appreciate it.”
And for a girl who’s spent the last few years pretending father’s day didn’t exist, this year, she finally gets to celebrate it.
Tyler says her dad seems like a different person, and she’s confident he’ll stay clean and sober.
Right now, Bill is working on his resume, and will start searching for a job soon.
To learn more about Denver rescue mission’s new life program, click here.