~ Thank you for the part you have played in my life. It means the world to me.
When I was sixteen a man from church became infatuated with my mother. I don't know whether she liked him back or not; I'm going to say she did because my mom doesn't keep company with people she doesn't like. We (my mom, brothers and I) spent months hanging out with him and I became very attached to him; which isn’t saying much because I become attached to anyone who is good to me.
Although this man had no reason to, he treated me like I was his very own daughter and I wished and hoped that he and my mom would get married because he had the magical ability to make the giant stick that was lodged in her booty disappear.
He was silly and kooky so put a smile on all of our faces. He was a little rough around the edges and not cut from the same cloth as most Christians which is probably why I liked him.
He was inappropriate in a decent way. For example, there was an issue which I couldn’t discuss with my mom because she wasn’t the easiest person to approach and I found it hard to talk about certain topics with her. Something was wrong with me and it needed fixing. Because my face is so easy to read, he read the worry on it and after prying the issue out of me, he forced me to go with him the pharmacy and fixed what was wrong.
Another thing I loved about him was that he was just a regular down to earth guy. For example, some Christians won’t go to the movies because in a sense, you become what you fill your mind with. Most of what is in the movies isn’t made for prudes, but he enjoyed movies so he went often and he would take me with him. He even took me to see The Craft (a movie about four witches doing lots of witchcraft; and although I can’t understand why, The Craft is one of my favorite movies). A movie like The Craft goes against everything Christianity stands for. I don’t think he knew what the movie was about before seeing it though, because halfway through, he leaned over and whispered, while shaking his head at me, “I can’t believe you have me in here watching this!!” He had his limits though, because when I tried to get him to take me to see Evita he drew the line saying, “I am not watching ANYTHING with that woman in it.” Not a huge Madonna fan!
He only spent time with me when my mom was busy with one church activity or another and when she was done he would be there waiting to take her coffee or to Barnes and Noble on 68th Street or wherever it was that she wanted to go.
One day a concerned woman from church pulled me aside to warn me that it wasn’t safe to be spending so much time alone with a man. From the outside looking in it was odd that a white man in his forties would be hanging out with a black girl in her teens. But he wanted absolutely nothing to do with me in that way. He really only had eyes for my mother.
My teen years were dark, but during the time this man was with us, he brought so much light into all of our lives. He treated me to so many good things and for that short time he made me and my family very happy.
Eventually he stopped spending as much time with my mom because, in his words, ‘he didn't think she was interested in the type of relationship that he was interested in.’
In a big church, people come and go and come back, so when I didn't see him as much I thought nothing of it. From time to time, he would cross my mind and as the years passed I always meant to ask my mom if she still heard from him. He really had no idea how much he meant to me and I always wanted to thank him for all he had done for me. One day I finally remembered to ask my mom if they still kept in touch and was shocked to learn that he had passed away. I try not to take things for granted, so I’m really sorry that I never got the chance to thank him for the way he treated me and for all that he gave me. Because he had his own children, he didn’t have to do anything for me, but I am so grateful for everything that he did.
I didn’t grow up with my father in my life and honestly I didn’t miss the presence of a dad because only having my mom was all I knew. But through the years I have been blessed to have many good men in my life who have been great father figures and big brothers to me.
So today I would like to honor the fathers, the men who aren’t biological fathers, but spiritual fathers; and also the single mothers who do the job of both parents.
Happy Father’s Day to you!
PS: To those I dedicated this blog to. It’s funny that you say I have no black friends, when each and every single one of you is one of my “black friends”. Please stop racially judging me :-). Loving you!
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