Tyreke Henry has been living steadily in the care of his father, Clarence Henry, better known as Ricardo, since he was six months old.
Now 10 years of age, the child has established an inseparable bond with his dad.
“My son is like my brother,” Ricardo said. “Whenever he is not around me, I feel a bit down because he is just my only company; he is always around me.”
Both of the child’s parents lived together for some six years before having their son.
They eventually separated, and the mother left Ricardo’s community of Orangefield, located in the Ewarton area of St Catherine.
She took Tyreke, who was then a baby, with her to the parish of Manchester.
During that time, Ricardo made occasional visits to Manchester to see his only child, he said.
Tyreke was six months old when his mother brought him back to St Catherine and left him in the care of his father. And he has been there since.
While single parenting comes with several challenges, the 31-year-old father said he is happy that he opted to continue being involved in Tyreke’s life.
“I am the one who wash his clothes and cook for him and those things,” he said, adding that he teaches his son how to make his bed and do other light chores.
Ricardo’s mother, Joan Campbell-Henry, also gives a helping hand, caring for her grandson especially when Ricardo is at work as a painter.
Eager to see his son acquire a good education, Ricardo makes time to assist with school work.
“I have to sit down with my son and read with him, help him to do his homework, and help to prepare for any little competition [at school] like spelling, reading or football,” he told The Beacon.
According to Ricardo, his interest in being a good parent is motivated by his own experience growing up with his late father Clarence Henry Snr., who played an integral role in his life.
The young father’s mother, Campbell-Henry, is proud of her son standing in a role from which many men try to escape.
“My son is a good father,” she declared. “He does everything you could think of for his son.”
The mother further stated that the relationship that has developed between her son and grandson is admirable.
“How Tyreke loves his father, if anything happens to him he would sit down and fret about it,” Campbell-Henry told The Beacon.
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