My Father was a shadow! I can remember him until I was about four years old. He'd come to visit me and my Mom. He'd have a Schlitz Tall Boy which he would let me hold and which I would turn up.
Oh, that's cute! (I'm lucky I'm not an alcoholic!)
He stopped coming by to visit sometime after my Lil Brother was born. My Brother and I had a Father but no real Daddy. There is a difference. Any man can be a Father. All that takes is good biological plumbing. But to be a Daddy you have got to be there in the trenches making sure that your kids are fed, safe and hopefully nurtured.
That's a Daddy!
My Father....he had his own demons to fight. He'd come in and out of my life when I was a teenager. When we met again, I was 12 and I remember seeing a White Dude sitting outside an office building wearing a Trucker's cap. My Mom asked me did I see anyone? "No..just some White Dude." When we entered the building though, I saw that the White Dude was just a very light skinned Black Man. I didn't know him and I was checking the door to see when my Father would show up. My Mom asked the Man sitting across from us; "So, how's life?" She then leaned over and whispered "That's your Daddy?"
That my Friends is what I'd clinically call a F- Up! If someone has to lean over to tell your child who they Daddy is.....That means you Eff'd up! Nuff Said!
I learned later that I had two more Brothers and a Sister. I know them and love them now.
I was fortunate to know him as a Man. He struggled with his Demons his whole life. He told me that he loved me and my Brother. He never apologized though for not being there. There was just the here and now.
I've been Blessed cause I had a great Grandpa to emulate. I love and miss him. I have a daughter who I love and a God Daughter as well. I have learned that being a Father and a Dad is not easy. It ain't for Punks! It's work!
My Daughter is tall and beautiful. She's smart but still has so much to learn and so much life to live. She's headstrong and stubborn like her Daddy. She is one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. I thank God (IAM) and my Wife for her. I am soooo Happy to Be a Daddy!
I've learned some things from my Father. He's gone now. In the years that we did speak I could see that he wanted to have a relationship. He reached out! He called on New Years Eve and Christmas. He tried! I wasn't always open to him. Some wounds can't be completely healed. Time just doesn't fix everything. I've never excused him but I have come to understand him and not judge him as harshly. I bet you wonder if I forgave him. For me to answer that would trivialize the matter. It's bigger than that! I called him Dad. He called me Son. That's enough I think. I thank him for what he taught me about Fatherhood.
Happy Father's Day to all the Men who stood up to be counted among the Faithful! Blessings to all those Men who modeled for all the young cats who have no one! Blessings to all the Men who do what a Man is supposed to do! Blessings to the Men who take a child that was not born from their seed and graft them into their family tree anyhow!
Happy Fathers Day!
BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!