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.