It was my grandfather who taught me the meaning of right from wrong. As examples, he taught me the importance of being polite, doing well in school and how to behave.
My grandfather was also very special not only because of the important lessons he taught me but because of all the great times we had together. We talked about girls and politics. We went to Cubs and White Sox games and we watched sports on TV.
This is the reason why on March 22, 2000 my grandfather’s death hit me so hard. My grandfather had always given me his unconditional love.
The most important thing I learned from my father is how to be adaptable to different circumstances. Because of the lifestyle he chose, that of a career military man, our family moved often. As a result I had to learn to adjust to different parts of the country and even at times, places outside of the United States. I had to adjust to different kinds of schools, sometimes Catholic and sometimes public schools. I had to learn to make new friends frequently.
Later in life, being adaptable has helped me work and mingle with people of different social, ethnic and religious groups. Adaptability proves to valuable here at StreetWise where among our vendors and staff we have quite a mixture of people.
Father’s Day is not as grand and respected as Mother’s Day in the black community. One of the reasons is because many black fathers have been M.I.A. (Missing In Action). Many black fathers have been incarcerated due to drug and gang affiliation. Many black men are unemployed and lack leadership abilities because they themselves did not grow up in homes where providing for the family and being a positive role model was taught. Many, but not all families lack the father’s presence. Some families not only dismiss Father’s Day as a celebration but actually go so far as to forget, dishonor and create distance from the male figures they feel abandoned the family unit. This is why Father’s Day is not celebrated and honored like Mother’s Day.
Let us not hold grudges this Father’s Day.
If the male provider was not present in your life, let’s make a change and be there in our children’s lives. We can celebrate this Father’s Day by pledging to be more responsible male figures in our family units. We can create a new example by providing and caring for our families and by leading the family unit forward with respect and responsibility. We do not need to hold grudges and be negative.
Let us be grateful and thankful this Father’s Day. Our fathers did the best they could with what they had. Now it is time for us to do the best we can with what we have. No more “Mamma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe.” Let’s be accountable and be a positive example for our kids. We can continue this role of accountable parenting day by day throughout our lives so that one day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will both be celebrated joyfully.