by Anthony Arasa
Today, I stand as a proud and present dad, with a heart full of gratitude for the second chance that was given to me by the federal court system. The emotional connection I now share with my kids and grandkids is unlike anything I could have imagined. Witnessing their growth and being an active part of their life is a privilege I cherish daily. It's in the simple moments, like going on walks and riding bikes, watching movies or a TV series, and helping them decorate their room or even shopping with them - the quality time that I find is my greatest fulfillment. Seeing my kids through innocent eyes taught me the importance of being present, of making every moment count.
I want to thank my higher power, “GOD,” and the federal court system for the opportunity that was offered to me. The CAP Program helped me continue to build on a foundation of recovery and sobriety. I had to have faith and buy into every piece of information they were offering. I knew from the day I was accepted into the program that this was a second opportunity of life, that sustaining sobriety ultimately depends on my commitment, and the federal court system provided a structured and supportive environment to assist me in my recovery.
The accountability provided by the court system motivated me to stay on track with my recovery goals and life goals. The CAP team made me feel supported and comfortable. I completed an 18-month program in 12 months, maintaining a clean record on drug tests, and being a leader in the program demonstrated my dedication and discipline. l completed my sentence. As I embraced the values of responsibility and accountability, it profoundly impacted my journey as a father and my role in the community.
My journey has translated into a passion for helping others. I've become a mentor for individuals facing challenges similar to those I once did. My story, from federal court to fatherhood, serves as a testament to the power of redemption and change. I've learned that our past need not define our future, and that by embracing responsibility and commitment, we can positively impact those around us. I stand tall and proud of my recovery. I want to share something my daughter wrote:
"I deeply appreciate and love you, Dad. Thank you for always guiding and loving me throughout all these years. You are, without a doubt, the best dad anyone could ever ask for.
The lessons you've taught, and the memories you've helped create are treasures to me.
Each one is a testament to your incredible role as a father. No gift could ever match the one you've given me - the gift of your love, your time, your care. But I hope that my actions, my respect, and my own love for you can at least reflect a fraction of what you truly deserve. I am so fortunate, so blessed, to be able to call you my dad. Your influence has shaped me into the person I am today and for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you for everything, Dad. I love you more than words can express.
You truly are the best dad ever!”