Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fathers and Daddys

I read several blogs on a daily basis. Yeah, ya could say that I'm becoming a blog addict the way I need these with my morning coffee. Don't even think about coming up on me without my daily dose of caffeine, no4real4real, Rashid and Keith Boykin. There are some others that I hit several times a week as well. One of them I read a day after it was posted, but it really hit home with me, struck a really raw nerve and got me thinking again (which is always dangerous). Check out the posting by Valentino-of-ATL (formerly CT)for July 12. In it he talks some about his father. Now I always put this term in my impersonal category as the "other half" of my biological equation with that being his only contribution to who I became from that point on. Like so many other black males, I grew up without a Dad in my life. Now when I use the term "Dad," I imply someone who is there for you, who bonds with you, who helps you learn manly stuff, and who eventually leaves you a fortune in the will (had to lighten this up some).

Well, my father failed the Dad test. I wasn't even told his name until I was 24. All I ever got before that was, I'll point him out to you someday. So, after finding out his name, I did a little investigating and three years later learned he had left our small southern town, Smalltown, behind and headed to the Big Apple. Tracked him down in Borough, called and said I wanted to come talk to him (actually I wanted to see him at least once before he departed for the happy hunting grounds). Well, in a one time 15 minute meeting, it is hard to imagine but he managed to piss me off 3 different times. Hey, the old fucker was good, averaging 1 asinine statement every 5 minutes. And here they are:
1. I always knew I had another son and wondered what your name was.
2. How is your older brother Albert (his name is Alfred and is his son as well); and
3. Yeah, I lived in Smalltown until 1970 (the year I turned 18 and he never once said hello, kiss my azz or nothing).
Now, I always had the impression that he lived elsewhere the whole time I was growing up. To make matters worse, his mother (my paternal grandmother) lived 3 blocks away on the same street in Smalltown; his son by his wife (my half-brother) and I were in homeroom together in high school but didn't know we were related; and his daughter by his wife (my half-sister) used to ride home to the neighborhood with me and my older brother after high school. Learned later that she knew about me and my brother and thought that I knew. (She is a blog all by herself for another day - bitch).
Bottom line is that even bad examples can help us grow. I was determined I was never going to be like him or abandon my kids no matter what. My 2 boys ain't perfect, but at least I was there for them as 'DADDY.'
Ok. Now I got to go to the gym and release some frustration. Oh yeah, my 'father' had been dead for 3 years by the time I heard about it. Well, he was late in my life for everything else, so why should the end have been any different.
Shem hotep.

8 comments:

Rashid @ Old Gold Soul said...

I can't believe you were able to condense so much of this story into one little blog entry.

I STILL believe your family's story would make an excellent novel.

Anyway, enjoy your night!

The Church Boy said...

I agree w/Rashid - it would make for an interesting novel. Boy, we should get together, all us bloggers and write a fire ass book, we could do a 55 city National Tour and EVERYTHING!

It's hard for me too. I saw my father about 5 times in my entire life and he died when I was 19. This past Father's Day I was at church, I remember the pastor saying for all the Father's the please stand. Well, of course women stood up too. He got them right together and told them to sit down because no woman could take the place of a man. He then told them something I swear I'll never forget. He said, "You women need to stop putting down these dead beat fathers...you slept with them."

Till We Meet Again,
The ChurchBoy

Cousin Chauncey said...

Wow, cousin, all of this is news to me! I love family drama, but damn, how did all this slip by me? My mother and your mother must have been masters at keeping secrets! No wonder they always sent me out to play we they were talking. You know how southern women always say that children need to "stay out of grown folks' conversations". By the way, when our family story becomes a movie, I want Darrin Dewitt Henson from Soul Food to play me. And I'll be more than happy to "coach" him and help him get into character!

No4real4real said...

Talk about Daddy Dearest...

IQ said...

Amen for breaking the cycle and being thier for your boys like your father wasn't for you. That's the kinds of father I want to be.

I don't understand how a man can just go thru life knowing and not caring that something --someone--that he made is walking around living and breathing without any help from him??!!?

I am the oldest of my biological father's 5 sons and he stopped dealing with me about age 15 because of my sexuality. Recently I was reunited with one of his sons with my stepmother... and imagine my delight in discovering that my younger brother is gay, too! There's no escaping that one for Pops! LOL

prodigalsun said...

wow... your story sounds like mine almost... my pops lived literally two blocks away... but I knew who he was... he never came to visit us or take us out or contribute a single thing.

Once he sent me a box of random azz dollar toys at xmas... like matchbox cars or some shyt... mind you I was like 13 or so at the time... lol

I have a half sister I met only once when I was 10... She is a year older than me... but a year younger than my sister. You do the math...

Some dudes should be neutered.

Rashid @ Old Gold Soul said...

re: Church Boy's comment....that kinda pisses me off. I sho nuff got my mom a Father's Day card this year.

The Divo said...

I cannot completely share in the bashing of DADs. My Father was not the best in the world to me. What is funny is that I can remember a time when I was about ten years old and he told me. Jr. you know you can tell me anything that you want, I don't care how it comes out. That was my outlet with my father from then till this day. We have argued and fussed and fought. But there was nothing like him stepping up for one day when he thought that I was going to die. He literally did everything for me ... I think he felt a tad guilty. I still love him today, but I am still caught telling him exactly how I feel about everything.


Remember,

"The future is more promising once you acknowledge that it, to you, is not promised"