Happy Father’s Day!
A proud, strong African American
I have mixed feelings about my father.
He was the first man I could identify with. Any father on the low-low is a hero. He defended his country and got some opportunities to have a stable family. And although we were middle class, we were not without struggle.
He lost his spouse early in my childhood, leaving him to raise me as a single parent. I once asked him whether he had dreams. “NO!” he said emphatically. I was disappointed, but it is one of the things that fuels me to continue pursuing my dreams.
My guess is that the turmoil of being born in 1948, living through the pre-civil rights movement, and enduring the Vietnam War hardened him. I could see at times he held things inside that may be bothersome but worth sharing. And even though it seemed he could see only into the next day, his most enduring life lesson is perseverance.
Like all fathers, he was a hero. When we celebrate Father’s Day, we should remember to value the importance of a father. As men, we are all fathers in a way. And I pray I will be able to pass the lessons he taught me to my children.
Growing up, my father always wanted to know how my school day went. “What did you study?” “Did you have a test?” “Did you learn something new?” “What activity was the most fun?”
After I finished my homework, he insisted I clean my room, then made sure I cleaned my sister’s and brother’s rooms. My father helped me get a job delivering newspapers, which I did for about five years.
I was 13 when my son came into this world. So, before my father died 15 years ago, he would sit down and talk to me about being both a man and a family man.
I always asked him how to be a good father to my son and how to treat my lady friend. His rules: always be a good person, always be a good father to your son no matter what, always treat your children’s mother as you would your mother, and respect love and understanding.
Illustration by Meg Rogers
To my father
By Sybil Taylor
He is spending his special day in Heaven, and the many other fathers out there: Happy Father’s Day!
My dad was an Army vet, a brave soldier who served this country, like his father before him. My grandfather served in the Korean War, one of the bloodiest wars, while Dad served during peacetime.
Our family loves and misses them dearly.
I cherish the memory of Dad walking me to school after Mom cooked breakfast for us. And helping me with homework and chores. We were all saddened when he left us to go to his new home and receive his wings and his halo. But I’m glad he is now free and happy with no sickness or pain.
I know he is a wonderful angel because he was a loving father, a loving husband, and a loving grandfather. We’ll especially miss him during the Fourth of July, when he would cook out and help us light the fireworks.
You were the best, Dad, always. And one day we will all be together.
Enjoy your heavenly Father’s Day!