Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hero By Any Other Name is...Daddy!!!!

In everyones life, there are defining moments that simply shakes our foundation. One of my most defining moments happened 15 years ago today at 7:05 p.m. On February 26, 1996 my father passed away leaving behind 5 adult children and 7 grandchildren. I can recall that day as if it happened last week. My father was a proud southern man and everything was to be done in decent order. Thirty-four years prior to my father’s passing he buried the love of his life and mother of his five children. My mother was only 29 years old when she passed away. I cannot imagine what my father had to endure with the sudden death of the love of his life and the daunting task of having to raise five children ranging in age from 12 to 2. What must have been going through his mind a he contemplated dealing with the personal emotional task of saying goodbye to his wife of 12 years and explaining her absence to his young children. For all of my life I have and still do feel that my father is my hero. While he was not perfect, he was my mentor for living and preparing to live the best life I could.

I am the youngest of my siblings and we all have very fond memories of our father. As I think back to the impact my father had on shaping me into the man I have become I begin the smile with admiration. Initially after his passing, I was unable to accept his absence, however, that emotion passed after approxmately two years. At times, I find myself quoting some of his infamous sayings. My father taught me how to drive, tie a windsor knot, have respect for proper English, shave, etc. He introduced my siblings and me to Christianity. Can you imagine a man combing the hair of three girls and ensure that we all looked our best as we filed out of the house every Sunday morning to attend the 11 o’clock service at True Light Bapist Church ON TIME? We could not be late for church, ever! There was never a shortage of love bestowed upon us all. While we did not have much money, we had on overflow of love. Every Friday it was an evening out at McDonald’s summers were filled with outings at Brookfield Zoo and the Air and Water Show. I am who I am because of the influence my father had over my life. As you can see, I have found memories of my father. While our relationship was not perfect, I never doubted that my father did not have my best interest at heart.

So many of my SGL brothers have had no experience or difficult relationships with their fathers and because I hold my father in such high regard I find it so sad to hear this it truly saddens me. My father had a very commnading presence that yielded respect and admiration. I can remember times when instead of getting a whipping he would sit me down and talk to me to impart knowledge that the end of a strap could not. While my father did not agree with my emotional orientation, he never stopped showing his love for me inspite of his own personal feelings. I have accepted that I will not be a parent of my own children; I would have hoped to be a father like the one God blessed me with.