Thursday, June 16, 2011

How I Feel Affects Other People...

Men rarely get their proper recognition.

"Yo Mama" are fighting words... jokes about "Mama's baby, Papa's maybe";
"The most confusing day in America? Fathers Day"... even the song titles:
"... I'll Always Love my Mama (OJays)... Sadie (Spinners)...”
while men get “Papa Was A Rolling Stone (Temptations)...."

Well, not every father is a DBD (Dead Beat Dad).
And, like mothers, they don't get a rule book on parenthood either.
So I dedicate this month to the men



Your nine month wait showed no physical signs.
Your nourishment was indirect.
You waited in the wings to teach morals & values,
To cultivate self respect.

You were
*the final word, even as the first word...
*the knee that offered stability...
*the shoulder of security...
*the spirit that broke each fall...
The goal to reach (for approval)
Since the day your child could crawl.

You were not seen every waking moment,
But your presence was felt each morning, noon and night.
As your child is blessed to grow older,
Be sure to thank God for your foresight

- Sporty King


No, my father didn't stay and watch me grow up through every stage of my life. And he's never told me he loved me (to my knowledge). He believed his job was as Disciplinarian. He had never met his father, and chose to damn his mother for forcing him to be the man of the house at 12. And I could go on and on about what he did and didn't do... yet I'd rather stop here and say that he is my role model for manhood. Let me further say that more than half of what he taught me are things I wouldn't do... as he was often my biggest negative role model. But sometimes our greatest lessons are those that signal the road we choose not to take:

I don't have children, but I have nieces and nephews whom I choose to tell and show that I love them.

I chose to coach and referee community league basketball for 11 years... without threatening or berating my players... while reminding them that another man was interested in their developing morals and values, besides their father.

I chose to volunteer at youth centers and teach them how bright their future can be.

I chose to speak at Senior Citizen Centers and remind them that their past has shed light on our present.

I choose to thank my teachers in retrospect through motivating those who teach today.

I chose to do all of these things and more, because I believe my father would have done them if his life presented a different set of options. It's not my call to "forgive" him for choosing to leave when I was too young to understand what went on between him and my mother. Nor is it my call to "forgive" him once I understood how and why he made the choice he did. Yet I can't forgive him enough for taking advantage of the greatest option in my life: his part in creating me.

He died from Alzheimer's, so it's okay for me to talk about how much I love him and recognize how hard he tried to be the father he didn't know how to be. Wonder how he would've reacted had I ever told him?

We expect a lot from our parents. How much do we give?

Happy Fathers' Day

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