On my first Father’s Day without you, I tender these words enveloped in the unconditional love that you endowed me with.
Because you always told me:
“Use those words in your storms Youngblood.”
Daddy, this is a storm like no other and your words were prescient.
Over the course of the past couple of months, your being gone is a surreal feeling of sorts, one that I’ve likened to a cacophony of sad songs.
As I alternate between marinating in the smoldering cauldrons of grief and rejoicing in your promotion to the pantheon of the Ancients.
I’ve struggled coming to terms with the emotions that buffet me in waves.
Conditioning myself not to pick up the phone to call or send a text has been one of those battles that I lose on occasion – as my naivete convinced me that you wouldn’t leave so soon.
Truth be told, I’ve been a host to those big round tears that hit the floor with concussive force while haunting me with their echoes.
One day, I cried so much that one of my contacts washed away (I thought they were supposed to float on tears).
On another occasion my tears weren’t clear, but they were white and my eyes were swollen shut.
And when the Universe had enough of the wallowing that you instructed me not to fall victim to – my Uncle Calvin called to check in on me before he joined the Ancients along with you.
I answered his call with a melancholy that I didn’t bother to camouflage.
He asked me if I was okay and I told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t.
He replied that he knew.
He listened to me ramble as I told him that I wasn’t writing shit, because it reminded me of you and it hurt.
And then, he said something that compelled me to pick up the pieces.
“You see nephew you got it mixed up,” he said…
“Oh? How so Unc?”
It was a short pause before he laid it out:
“You see we cry when we come into this world of wickedness and evil knowing that we gonna have to fight. But, we’re here for a purpose and when that job is done, we are called home and that is a time for rejoicing not tears. Your Daddy’s job was done, but yours isn’t. Our people are depending on you to tell our story. You can mourn, but don’t do it too long, because this place ain’t our home! Write that down if you need to nephew, ya hear?”
And with that, I picked up the pen…
I remember our last conversation like it was yesterday Daddy, you tendered your standard quote on human frailty out of the blue:
“Son, these bodies are shells, we are spirit beings,” you said.
I thought nothing of it until you began talking in the past tense – as we discussed the last section of my manuscript that I sent you.
“They are going to turn this into a movie son,” you exclaimed before adding in…
“I wish I could see it.”
I remember being cognizant of the weariness in your voice, you sounded so tired and I broke down in tears during our conversation, as I listed the reasons why I needed you, why we, needed you here.
You let me have my moment and when I was done, you told me…
“You will be okay son, just keep the faith.”
I was angry and didn’t want to accept that, countering with a declaration that if you left then – I was coming with you.
I could sense the trepidation on your end of phone before you told something that I will never forget as it echoed what my Uncle Calvin would tell me months later.
And with that we both erupted in laughter.
Strangely enough Daddy, after we got off the phone something in my spirit told me that this would the last time that we would speak, but I didn’t want to believe it.
But, it came to pass.
I’m keeping your mandate nonetheless, I’m still plugging away at the genealogy research and finding our people, but most importantly I am still trying to keep the faith.
From my lips to God’s ears.
I rejoice in the fact that you knew how much I loved you, because I told you whenever the spirit moved me to.
The torch has been passed and I promise to reflect your light as long I have air in my lungs and praise on my tongue.
Happy Father’s Day.
Rest easy Daddy, until we meet again.
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