As I ride back to my hometown to stay safe and be with my family, I find myself reflecting over this year and all that has come with it. Also what was lost...
I have’t published a new blog because of this. So sorry for the delay.
A quick synopsis on my background, I am from the hood, my mother struggled to feed four children, and I went through... a lot (sorry this platform is too public for me to share, and some already know so ask a friend 🤷🏽♀️), but God is faithful. With that being said, my dad decided to be with his own issues rather than with us, so as you can imagine, it left a whole in my heart. Fast forward to age 13, after a very traumatic experience, my mother decided she wanted to leave our hometown to go to Atlanta, but she had to make sure everything was established first. So my brothers had other care with boarding school, and other family, but my mother sent me to stay with my Grandparents. Little did I know that my life would be changed forever. My grandparents lived in a very nice neighborhood, and happen to be some of the most amazing people that my city had ever seen. My Grandmother is a retired cook, and my Grandfather was a retired commissioner who still worked with the city. I think living with them was the first time I had peace after everything that happened. It was weird because for once in my life I had everything I needed. I hadn’t realized it until now, but it created the blueprint for the life that I have now. I was fascinated by my Grandparents. My Grandmother was just this really classy lady who didn’t want for much. She loved infomercial shopping, she loved her coffee, and she made sure to keep everything nice and neet in her own way. She was honest, hilarious, and unscareable (literally tried to scare the woman everyday for a year unsuccessfully lol). She cooked whenever she wanted (which was often) and the times she didn’t, she sent me and my grandfather out for food. Those nights were my favorite because of my Grandfather. He was the most amazing man that I have ever met. He would go to bed at 12 and be up by 6am. He was legit a go getter. He was always out trying to help someone, or out checking on his apartment building, or hiring new fireman or policemen, but he always drove me to school every morning, always made sure I had money for a snack, and picked me up from practice or the community center. He was my first example of what a consistent man looked like, and that year he became my best friend. When I was wasn’t at school, I was with him. He didn’t talk a lot to everyone, but he talked with me. He wasn’t touchy-feely with all his grands, but he was with me. He didn’t crack jokes with everyone, but he did with me. It’s like he knew that I needed to see it. He knew that I needed to see what a good man looked like, so he showed up. We talked all the time. When my Grandmother sent us out for food, he would take me out to eat and court me. He would tell me what a good man should do on dates, and how I should wait to have sex so I can see the world, and get grounded (meaning have dreams then babies 😊), but he also showed me how a man should listen to me, like really hear me, and consider what I have to say. He would tell me about his upbringing, why he started his nonprofit, and I would tell him stories about the things me and my brothers would get in to. I thought it was funny, but he didn’t because all of it was always potentially dangerous. He told me to work to get comfortable, not to survive (even thought that’s all I knew at the time). He created the standard for what I should want in a man, he planted a seed, and it grew. (My hubby literally is the best ever). The Holidays were his favorite time of the year, because even though he ran a tight ship for the house (making sure all his grands didn’t break anything), he made sure that he put the Christmas tree up every year right after thanksgiving. And he was so PROUD of it when he was done. He would bring me and my mom in every year and go, “Look at that.” And gesture to the tree. And of course we would give him the praise he was looking for. It always amazed me that a man who gave so much, who still deserves so much honor, wanted to make sure that we liked his tree. That after all he’s done, he cared what we thought....
We lost him last year, organ failure... so this time is soooo much for me. Because he was... is... the best father that I could’ve ever asked for. He was my champion, year after year. When he hadn’t seen me in a while he would call me and say, “Hey, you need to come home nah. Ok?” And I would pull some change together to get home. I got older, and busier. So imagine my shock when he died. It was so fast.
I’m proud to say that I took his last good photo. The one you see above with my Grandmother. He changed my life. I thank God for the time I had with him. Time with him changed the trajectory of what I would want from a man. I have so much to be grateful for because of him showing up for me, and really caring about me and loving me through. I honestly had no expectations after what I had gone through, but after him, I knew what to watch out for. I miss him most during this time. So for those who made it to the end of this, please make sure you kiss everyone of your family members, even if you’re still mad at them. And if you’re a woman who has a good father of father figure still with you, squeeze them girl. Father’s are truly a blessing, I’m grateful for the one my son has. Cherish this time because it really isn’t promised. Happy Holidays from my family to yours 💋.