Happy Father’s Day all over the world. Somebody like me woke up this morning wondering who they could call and wish Happy Father’s Day. Sure, “wishing my husband happy Father’s Day was great, but I miss telling my dad Happy Father’s Day.” Those of us who can relate to this emptiness also realize “not only is father gone, but a father figure as well.” In addition to joy, for some of us, days like Father’s day bring a harsh reminder that nothing lasts forever.
Be prepared! There will come a time when all that’s left are memories. Memories are the essence of our joy and pain. They become our compass for correction….preventing us from making mistakes past love ones made before us, as well as preparing us for success. My father was a realist, a self-educated man, who taught himself to read by reading newspapers and later on in life he included bibles. I was well into adulthood, before I realized daddy could hardly read or write. He never told me this, I figured it out when he would ask me to write something for him. However, his wisdom from God successfully transitioned him into a better life just the same.
A true-blood “bama boy” removed, migrating to Chicago in the late 40’s, daddy came into his own northern style, all but shedding any resemblance of his Mobile, Alabama origin. Like many other black southerner’s who migrated north, he never had a wish to return to what was once labeled the dirty south. My father was a happy man most of the time, as far as I knew. Whatever he experienced in his life that was not good or disturbing to him, stayed inside of him. I guess he and mom carried their burdens like most parent’s did back in the day…..privately, determined to keep them far away from their children.
Keeping wisdom private was another story though. I will always remember when my ex-husband and I rented our very first apartment, in a building my dad and step-mother owned. My husband was 24 and I was 18. We had one child on the way. After we had been moved in for about 2 weeks daddy called, said he was stopping by and wanted to talk to us. This was in 1975.
I remember thinking “I wonder what’s so important, I wondered if he was going to raise our rent from $300?” Well, it wasn’t that. Simply put, daddy wanted to explain the importance of keeping a roof over your head when you become an adult.
Daddy started his talk off by saying;”if you can’t pay anything else when you get paid, always pay your rent!” He drove his point home by informing us how we could do without almost anything else if we had to, for a while; “but, he said, keeping a roof over your head is not negotiable.” I believe the underlying message to us was; make coming back home, with more mouths to feed a last resort….Lol
When I got older I realized there was a critical connection as well as a personal interest attached to daddy‘s advice, interchanged with his fatherhood status and his landlord status. At any rate, I’ve passed that same advice on to my child who is now an adult. Yes, “I tell her that paying her rent or mortgage is the most important bill she has, even if it has to be late. Next is her car note,” because she needs a car to get to work.”
Daddy never talked about car notes in his words of wisdom, because almost everybody our age, back then, had used cars that they or somebody else paid cash for, or they had no car at all. The end of this story.
R.I.P. daddy and Happy Father’s Day again, to fathers all over the world. Peace out!