A Special Message For the Fathers Who Earned the Title

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  • Father’s Day is Sunday, and the jokes, dissing, and pity party for dads who aren’t expecting anything from their kids and spouses have already begun. Well, let me say for the record, I’m not wit’ them. I look forward, not only to honoring my daddy and all the millions of good ones like him, but to use this forum to tell the haters it’s time to stop.

    I am a huge Daddy’s Girl and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Always have been and always will be. He is my hero; larger than life to me and still what I want to be when I grow up. He was my first love and has set a very high standard for every man that has followed.

    That’s not to say that I don’t recognize his weaknesses as well. I do. But this blog isn’t the place for that.

    I could probably expound upon on all of his exemplary qualities for much longer than I care to write or much longer than you care to read. So I’ll cut to the chase.

    The fondest memories I have of my father are centered around baseball and beer – the crack of the bat, the muffled sound of the ball hitting the glove, the laughter, cheers and good-natured bickering all set to the backdrop of the smell and sounds of the Budweiser Brewery are as vivid now as they were when I was ten. Best of all, it was usually just him and me and I basked in my father’s love.

    Yes, my daddy set the bar high when setting the example of how I should expect a man to treat me.

    So high in fact, the men in my life have had to take a running start and a flying leap just to get close to reaching it. It’s a blessing – and sometimes, I’m beginning to think, a curse – to have lived in a home with a father who did everything he was supposed to do and then some. A blessing for the obvious reasons; I always felt safe and secure. I always had everything I needed. I had his love and attention and didn’t have go out seeking it from other “father figures” I see women going after.

    The downside is kind of obvious too. I thought that finding a man that did all the things my daddy did would be easy..

    I’m not by myself. I’ve talked to a lot of women who had extremely high expectations from their husbands and children’s fathers based on their own experiences. They didn’t realize that a lot of what their fathers were had plenty to do with the women who was by their side helping them, loving them and supporting them along the way.

    Thank you, Mama.

    So if your man isn’t the man you think he should be, or your daddy wasn’t the daddy you thought he should have been, it could have been that you or the woman in his life wasn’t willing or able to give him what he needed to become the best man he could be. Not trying to ruin the mood of this blog, but I’m just saying …

    And since I’m using this space to salute the fathers who always found a way to dig deep and put their families first, I’m going to do something that is against the TJMS rules. I’m going to shout out some of the daddies who have made a difference in my life:

    Uncle Harold, whose nickname was Moose and whenever he wanted to talk to you, would invite you to step into his “office;”

    Uncle Patrick, who is one of the most selfless, caring and kind men I know. Love him so much I named my oldest son after him.

    My Grandpa – who didn’t have much more than a third grade education, but seemed like the smartest man in the world.

    My Grandpops – who answered every letter I wrote. I received his last letter on a Friday night. The next morning we got the news that he died. I still have the letter.

    To all the Hinsdale Court fathers for stepping in and being surrogate daddies, whether us kids liked it or not.

    My boss – Tom Joyner – who created a legacy for his children and talks about his sons with such pride that you can’t help but be proud to be a small part of what he’s created.

    J. Anthony Brown – for always putting the humor in child rearing, like hanging up on moms whenever he hears their kids in the background.

    Willis – for always working to be a better man and a better father.

    Bill Cosby and “The Cosby Show” reruns for showing a lot of men and women who grew up without daddy figures what to shoot for and for reminding us NOT to give daddy ugly sweater.

    Roland Martin for stepping up and raising his six, count em, six nieces.  He definitely has earned the name “Uncle Ro Ro.”

    President Barack Obama for showing the world a beautiful portrait of a black husband and father.

    And finally to my Daddy – for being all of the above and then some. In Sade’s “Baby Father,” she says, “Oh child, don’t you know your daddy love come with a life time guarantee?”

    So, whether you have daily daddy duty or give 100-percent the 50 percent of the time you have access to your children, you are to be commended for giving your children something no on in the world can give them or take way: Their Daddy’s love. And I wish for all the children to truly feel their Daddy’s love.

    Happy Father’s Day!

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