My Father Taught Me…

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Me and Pops. We go WAY back…

Without shame, I admit I felt some kind of way this morning about Father’s Day. There was a  little sadness mixed with confusion (Why?). You can throw in a pinch of resentment and pissivity too. I spent most of this morning dwelling on and pouting over all the stolen future moments life and it’s sometimes cruel nature stole from us–me and my pops. All the silly and untold jokes, unshared words of wisdom and advice (because communication is no longer easy, no longer existent really). Most days I’m able to convince myself to be grateful for what we once had, the relationship we once had (which is totally different today). We had our own language (laughter and jokes) and a very  special bond. Basically, we just had a vibe. But this morning I didn’t care about being grateful for what once was. I didn’t give a fuck about the past and its memories.   I didn’t ask for any of this, wasn’t prepared for it. I wanted more future with my pops (the original version of him)–I wanted more laughs (frequent laughs), I wanted to hear more of him talking shit to whomever he felt like talking shit to, I wanted more pep talks, I wanted more spoiling, I wanted more him–the old school him. Alzheimers… you stole from me and my family (and I legit hate you for that). You also taught me it is more than possible to miss someone, to ache for someone who’s not even dead.

Then the afternoon rolled around, and although I was supposed to be taking a break from social media as I worked on some other things today, the break didn’t last too long. As I scrolled I saw someone posted a meme that read something like “What Did Your Father Teach You.” I’m not happy it appears I’m addicted to social media but I am happy that seeing this post forced a shift in my focus. I started to think about ALL the many things my father taught me. Like how to write a check ( I remember this like it was yesterday, sitting up at the front table practicing on a sunny spring day). He taught me how to stash money (He gave me a stash of money and told me I should spend a little but  save most and continue adding to the stash. Unfortunately, to his disappointment, I initially spent all of the first stash before adding to it. ). He taught me how to be frugal (My pops was the thrift store king! He didn’t believe in spending a dime unnecessarily). He taught me how to drive (Oh my God, I hated those driving lessons! He fussed the whole fuckin time. “Slow down!” “Brake!”  “You don’t know what you’re doing yet. Why are you going so fast?” You gotta listen!” When it was my cousin’s turn to learn she’d fake being sick because the lessons and yelling were so nerve-racking . Lol). He taught me that what I had to say mattered (He actually wanted to hear my sometimes funny but mainly boring ass stories about life at school or work. He wanted to know how my friends were and if the new guy was still treating me well. He’d hang on to every word, asking for more details, and wanting me to repeat every story when a new person walked in the room. (“Vi..listen to this. Tell your mother what you just told me.” “You tell her dad.” “No.No.No You gotta tell it. Go head.”)  He taught me the value of handwork (I swear this man never missed a day of work y’all. I’m not that dedicated…yet). He taught me how to be a person people could depend and count on. He taught me how to be a giver (He was cheap as hell but when we ever needed or wanted something he always came through with the check). He taught me that life will knock you down but you have to get back up and keep pressing. He taught me the value of being independent, of standing on my own two feet, of always having my own, and not placing myself in positions where I’m at the mercy of others. He taught me that life is simply sweeter with laughter (Our love language).  He taught me that loyalty and consistency are gold. And I’ll probably never be as In Your Face and Tell It Like it Is as him, but he taught me not to take any shit from people. He taught me a man spoils the woman he loves and honors. And he doesn’t cry or complain about it.  Through his actions, he taught me I meant the world…to him (which I internalized as I mean the world. Period. Lol. He’d always tell me how I looked “like a million bucks” or say “See you later Rhond-D”, his nickname for me, as I was headed out the door to meet up with friends. And  then he’d add a wink… and a smile. Those were the days. I’ll cherish them forever.)

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I Diddy cropped my mom out. Don’t judge me! Lol. It’s Father’s Day.

After reminiscing, I can honestly say I feel less heavy, less in a funk, less entitled (to my preference, to my vision of how life should be).  Memories…I didn’t want to fool with you this morning.  I wanted to be sad and pissed. I wanted to cry and say “Fuck you!”  (even if just for a few hours). But  I feel better now  (writing this was surprisingly therapeutic). Memories came through for me in the clutch today.  To wrap up, I’m no fool. I know how blessed I am to have a father who loves me so much, who poured so much into me. So I can be mad, I can curse, I can scream and yell. But when that’s all said and done I have to return back to gratitude, to being thankful for the precious gift of even experiencing Dad–then and now.   And I understand, with sadness,  we can’t go back to the good ole days (not on this side anyways) but I will cherish and hold on to,  for dear life, the so many memories I’ve been blessed to make with my father, my friend, my first love, my everything.

Note: Once in a while, my old pops resurfaces and we all laugh so hard (like  when I say “What up Boss” and he laughs like he did back in the day  or this week when he told my Aunt to “Get gone!”  Get on his nerves and he’ll tell you what you can do with yourself. Lol. #ClassicRonHall)