RJ Jaramillo, the founder of SingleDad.com, a resource for information on fatherhood, tells the story of the inspiration for the SingleDad logo.
In early 2007, I was chasing a dream and escaping a reality. My dream was to create the first multi-media, social networking website for single parents that was centered around newly divorced and widowed fathers. I was also in the process of my second divorce and trying to rebuild the fragile relationship with my children. My devotion and passion to make this website a reality was the only thing keeping me from a nervous breakdown. My primary business was failing due to the mortgage "meltdown" and I had to make quick decisions in the middle of the chaos. I had 55 employees looking to me for guidance during the economic uncertainty. We were all watching the internet to see if our company was on the "Implode List" as the next company to go under. In my 20 year career in this business, I had never seen this type of environment.
One thing that holds true for my personality is my passion for fatherhood, children and fishing. I can remember sitting in one of my first development meetings for SingleDad. We were trying to come up with a logo for the website and I was struggling with my confidence and concentration. I wanted to make the logo consistent with my message about fatherhood and what it meant to me. I ended that meeting with no real decisions and went home to decide whether I should eat dinner or end another evening with the comfort of Nyquil. As I drove into my newly rented home, I navigated my SUV cautiously into my over-stuffed garage. I brought one of the moving boxes in with me as I made the decision to have corn dogs for dinner and to review some of my old pictures that were in the moving box – nothing wrong with a little self-pity and corn dogs.
This box was filled with some great fishing pictures. I was captivated by one photo in particular because it tells a story shared by many fathers and sons on fishing trips. This picture was taken around the time when I was newly divorced. I was going on one of my first fishing trips to my parent’s condo in the Eastern Sierra’s. My son, Mossi, was maybe 3 or 4 years old at the time and I was teaching him the rules of fishing the streams and how important it was to know the difference between upstream and downstream. As I walked him to the stream, I felt he understood as I repeated the cardinal rule that all fishermen follow if they get lost. I told him, "Son, if you can’t find me, call out my name and walk downstream. I will find you, just walk down stream"
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but it happened. One moment, I had my son next to me, the next moment he was gone. My girlfriend was with us and I screamed for her help. I quickly went into panic mode. We scattered and shouted his name repeatedly. I kept walking down stream hoping and hoping that he would be around the next corner of the creek.
I went back to my original location and walked upstream and saw him sitting on a log next to the stream no more than 30 feet from where we originally stood together. The sound of the creek was loud enough to drown out my shouting. I was mad, I was happy – the adrenaline was peaking! As we walked back to the car, I looked down at him with two thoughts on my mind… "I am so mad at you, and God, I am so grateful I found you… I would have never forgiven myself if I lost you, or something bad happened to you…" It was this moment that my girlfriend captured in that photo.
I went to my website meeting the next day and showed the photo to my graphic design partners and told the story of the picture. The logo was created that day. The original photo remains in my living room and a copy is displayed at my parent’s condo. Every picture tells a story and one of my first fishing trips as a single dad, turned out to be the beginning of SingleDad.com.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”