It’s 4am & I can’t sleep. My son is using my arm as his pillow & the lethargic humidity has finally knocked my husband out. But I’m up unable to fall back asleep. Maybe the reason I can’t is because it’s Father’s Day. It’s the 3rd Sunday of June & it’s an underappreciated day. So many bitter mothers have made this day seem as though they deserved it along with Mother’s Day or that it was a day undeserving of celebration but on the contrary it’s not.
My father was born in November of 1953. He had a different story than the one I could imagine living. He was raised in Jamaica & lost his own father to a frivolous event at the tender age of seven. I’m not quite sure what he made such a tragic event in his life mean but who he became as a father during my childhood was very special.
I remember many days believing that I needed to defend my father’s honor if anyone ever spoke ill of him. I remember the days I hung out in his arms with no cares in the world. He would come & take me to Brooklyn NY every weekend & summer. I got to experience NY in a completely different way. I was way more advanced in traveling than most of my class men. Getting away so often was a such a great experience for me as child. I think one of the best things he gave me were my older brothers. I had 3 growing up. Watching those boys getting into trouble inevitably turned me into a tomboy. I watched my father scold them about sagging pants. I watched my father try to be a role model that inspired love, fear & respect to us as children.
It takes just one wrong move during that adolescent stage for a young person to become disappointed by their parents though. Sometimes as adults we can spend a lifetime never forgiving them for the story we made up in our minds about why they failed us. As the story goes on I’d forget all the times he said “I love you” when no one else’s made a difference. All the times he picked me up when I fell down. All the times I wanted a dollar just to buy a ton of teeth rotting candy. All the times he let me roam free when I wanted to explore. All those experiences of the rural 80’s in NYC that now look like the best nostalgia to me. I say thank you. For the mistakes that were made, the journey it took you on & the breakdowns on the way, I say thank you. For the effort that was given, the times I didn’t notice, the fights you put up as I became an adult, thank you. For the lessons you learned from your first little girl & the struggles you worked through trying to let me be free, thank you. For those times were I felt “safe!” Thank you. Thank you more than ever for giving me the chance to be a mother & bringing your grandson into this world. I could never repay you for giving me life but I’m grateful.
I know I don’t say it enough or show it enough but I luckily still have time to make up for those moments that I took for granted. As luck would have you’re still around and those flowers that you deserve will be coming soon. I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.