Libertyville’s Sedrik Newbern writes book about forgiving his father
Sedrick Newbern, who owns an Allstate agency in downtown Libertyville, wrote a book about his relationship with his father on Thursday, June 7, 2012 in Libertyville. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Sedrik Newbern
OCCUPATION: Allstate agent in Libertyville; also owns marketing consultant business
WORDS TO LIVE BY: Life is 10 percent what happens to me, 90 percent of how I react to it
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:13AM
Sedrik Newbern has dedicated himself to being the best father he can be for his four-year-old son, Matthew.
Growing up in a household without a father at an early age, Newbern knows how difficult it can be -- and he’s determined not to repeat the same mistakes with his own son.
“Watching him grow up and seeing so much of myself in him makes me realize how important fathership is,” said Newbern, who works as an Allstate insurance agent in Libertyville. “I’ve made a lot of decisions in the last five years, all of which relate to my son and my wife. I don’t want to be an absent dad.”
Newbern, whose own father left his mother when he was only nine months old, has written a new book on the complex relationship with his father and the importance of forgiveness. The book, which is self-published, is entitled “Unconditional Forgiveness: Lessons on Letting Go to Build Better Relationships,” is scheduled to come out over Father’s Day weekend and can be purchased on amazon.com or via Kindle.
Newbern, who grew up with his mother in Tennessee, remembers seeing his father for the first time when he five years old when his father came for a visit from California.
‘Great but awkward’
“He brought me this life-sized Mickey Mouse,” said Newbern. “That was the first time I remember seeing him. It was great, but it was awkward.”
Eventually, his dad started becoming a bigger part of his life, inviting him to California over summer vacations or on holidays.
“I spent a lot more time with him and got to know Dad,” he said.
His father eventually remarried and had two more children of his own. Finally, after graduating from high school at age 18, Newbern had a long talk with his dad and forgave him for the mistakes he had made early in his life.
“I said ‘Dad you were only 24 years old when you had me and I can’t imagine how difficult it was to have a child at such a young age. I forgive you for leaving me as a kid and I forgive you for all the mistakes you made,’” said Newbern. “My Dad said he was sorry for everything. It was a very emotional moment for both of us. At that moment, I could see the relief on us face because my Dad finally forgave himself.”
In recent years, he’s become even closer with his father.
“My Dad and I are now the best of friends,” he said.
Newbern emphasizes he is not a child psychologist or a relationship expert but just a man who is sharing his thoughts on the importance of fatherhood.
“Kids just want their dad,” he said. “They want their dad to be there when they ride a bike or to teach them to shave. Those were the things that were important to me.”
The book is not only about his relationship with his father but also his relationship with his own son. He also talks in the book about the importance of forgiveness and letting go in healing any broken relationship.
“Hopefully, with this book, more people can come full circles with their fathers,” he said. “Mother’s Day is such a huge holiday. We should also spend more time celebrating good fathers and recognizing the ones that have made mistakes.”
Newbern wouldn’t replace his relationship with his own son for anything. Like other kids, Matthew loves Super Heroes and likes and playing Wii and sports with his dad. Matthew calls his father the “Best Dad Ever Made.”