*This is going to be a long post*
**Background Info: I’m usually in a good mood about 96% of the time. However, at the drop of a hat, my mood can flip to the opposite end of the spectrum for little reason (idk why).**
Yesterday actually went pretty well for me. I was at work from 7a-730p, and while I was there I did my usual surfing of my favorite sites (The NY Times, Monnie’s Blog, Fresh’s Blog & Lord Hannibal’s Blog) between periodic episodes of doing work. I got home around 8 and I went straight to the comp as I usually do & I turned on Fox to see if America’s Most Wanted was on, but as always I got entranced in my game of SimCity 4 (That’s right…I said it…ill sit up til 5am playing that game if im not doing anything else 🙂 )
That unusually bored me rather fast so I jumped on MySpace (hence the post last nite which was a cover up for what I’m about to explain in a little bit.)& started browsing on the profiles of some of the people in my top 32.
I made my way over to my cousin’s page cuz I hadn’t spoken to him in minute. As I scrolled down to drop a comment, I saw it. 3 pictures of my father. I sat there staring at the pictures for at least 20 minutes in silence. Two was of my dad as he was older, (the way I remembered him) wit the gut, his cuban cigar, and salt & pepper hair. He was sitting in the mexican restaurant he owned with some of his friends enjoying the food. And then there was an older one that was maybe 10-15 years old, of him and all of my uncles in suits out and about enjoying life. (I know this is type random, but I just noticed that when they were younger, my dad and uncles look liked they were middle eastern…).
*Side Note: My Dad passed away when I was a senior in high school back in the fall of ’03*.
As I sat there, my mood instantly changed from that of humorous and joking, to a not so pleasant one that I try to keep under wraps as much as possible. It was if a black cloud just came over me. And let me say for the record, I do not dislike my father at all. As I looked back at him experiencing happier times, I remembered all the times when I was growing up I sat up wondering if and/or when I was gonna see him. The way my mother tells the story, my dad saw me when I was a year old. We caught the train to Chicago (18 hours) from Baltimore back in 1988. He was supposed to pick us up from the train station in the city but for whatever reason, he never showed. So that left my mother with having to get on another hour long train ride with me and luggage in tow headed to North Chicago. My father put us in a hotel and we did the family thing for a few days then he up and disappeared for 3 days. My mother, being thoroughly fed up and certain that he was married to little brother’s mom already, packed us up, headed for home, and swore that she never would talk to my father again. As I got older and started asking questions about him, she told me that if I ever did want to get in contact with him that she would help me. So fast forward past my first call and visit to see him, his coming to see me, meeting my older and younger brother, and some more stuff. I still had questions for him, but being a child and not wanting to question my father, I kept my mouth shut out of respect. Fast forward a few years, my mother tells me to call my father to check on him. My line of thinking was “I understand that he had a heart attack and triple bypass (which I was around for) a few years back, but yall 2 had me…I didn’t have yall, so why should I have to call and check up on him, if anything, shouldn’t he call and check up on me?”
The summer before my senior year of high school, I got fed up with always having to call my dad to check on him, so I thought of an experiment, unbeknownest to anyone. I told my dad I would call him in a week or so to see how he was, but of course I purposely waited for him to call me for once, and guess how long I waited….two months. My senior year (and second year back here in Baltimore) started up in the Fall of 03 and as I talk to my dad during that huge Northeastern Blackout (remember that?) he tells me that he and one of my uncles are going to Haiti for a week to sort out some family business. I told him I would call him in about a week to see how the trip was…That was the last time I spoke to him.
I called him about 8 days later, no answer. Called the next day, no answer. Called a couple days later, no answer. I started to get worried, but then I remembered how my father was always on the go at a meeting or out somehwere, so I gave it a rest for about 3 days. I called again,and didn’t get an answer. I know how my dad is and with him having caller id, I know that if he and that didnt answer the phone, he would at least call back within a day or two (if it was one of his children at least…) .So one night in october it’s about 1230 in the morning and i’m thinking “what if he got sick?” “what if he died or something?” 30 minutes later, Neice J walks in the room with the telephone and tells me that its my uncle on the phone. He says that I have to come to Chicago right away because my father is very ill. We iron out the details and I a few days later my uncle calls and tells me that my father did pass away and that they were having the funeral in Miami. So my mother makes reservations and I’m on my first flight to Florida…As I ride to the funeral with cousin D, I tell myself that im gonna be a G and im not gonna cry. I walked into the church just as they were closing the casket, and as I took my seat, I just started bawling. Seeing that coffin sitting there was the worst thing I could imagine at 16. After that day, I was never asked, nor did I ever speak of or deal with my feelings about my father or his death. And that all caught up with me soon enough.
It was the summer of ’06, and I was just getting home from work. I had been in a rut all day for some strange reason that I couldn’t put my finger on. I got home and just intended to go bed sans cell phone & tv. I started thinking about some random stuff as I sat on my bed…and then I glanced over to my mirror, where I happen to see a picture of my dad, and I pretty much had a similar reaction to the one I had last nite, but this one was about 100 times worse (emotion wise). It started out just being all about anger and hate towards my father, but it quickly morphed into disapproval, being upset, and longing for the father I never had. All of a sudden, as I stared at the picture, all these thoughts just consumed me….”Why weren’t you there?” “You raised my brothers so what about me?” “You had a father so why didn’t you see the importance in being one for your own kids?” I asked the picture all those questions plus some more that I really don’t want to relive. Before I knew it, tears were rolling down my face, heavily.
I realized right then and there that although I chose not to admit it, and although I always praised my father for things that he did for me during the short time I did know him, there still was a void there. A void that was there because he chose not to be there for me as father should be. I am the type of person that does not like to show extraneous emotion. I mean, im not as cold as ice, but I’m not one of those overly emotional dudes that gets up in arms about every little thing…hell I’m moody enough as is lol. I can say that I am alot like my mother in that, instead of dealing with emotional issues or things along those lines, I’ll immerse myself in something else completely to avoid dealing with the issue at hand. And as in the aforementioned situation, it’ll bubble under the surface until it explodes out. Everyday I try to think about the good things and memories I have with my dad, although I may have moments like last nite here and there. I know most people aren’t lucky enough to have a father for even the short amount of time that I did have one, so I am indeed grateful for that.
After that entire incident, I began to force myself out of my introvertedness even more. I realized that I have my own set of issues that I have to deal with, just like everyone else, but I also realized that I don’t have to deal with them alone. As far as the issue with my dad goes, I made myself a promise on my drive into work the next morning. I promised myself that when I do have kids, I’ll be there for them from day 1 onward, and to over all be a better (meaning present and more involved) father because I know the pain of growing up without one.