At 41 years old, I sit here a woman who has never known a true Father’s love.
Why, you ask? Well, I was born to a young Mother who made mistakes. I was raised by a single, sometimes married, sometimes involved, and sometimes dating, young beautiful Black woman. My Mother worked extremely hard to take care of me. She suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of her first husband. She tried to accept the abuse and make the best of the situation to raise me in a “normal” family. After 5 years she was forced to throw in the towel and take me and run for safety. The abuse had gotten so horrific that she had no choice but to flee for our safety.
Her next step was to work hard and rely on the help of family to take care of me while she did so. She tried to better herself for us. She did this for 2 years, this didn’t work. Family dynamics can get tricky when you depend on them for help, yet don’t have much to give besides a sincere “Thank you”. My mother made the choice to depend on help from the family one last time, she sent me to live with my grandparents at 7 years old, and she joined The U.S. Army.
At 8 years old I moved to Germany, our lives had changed for the better. She had done it! A strong, smart, determined young beautiful Black single mother, from Spotsylvania,VA. had taken control of her and her daughter’s lives and made something of herself. We were going to be great. She could afford to buy me anything I wanted. We lived all over Europe and America. My mother was very successful. She had men in her life but none really “made it”. She was so focused on taking care of her child and herself that men became a “chore”. She didn’t need a man. She was independent, strong, financially stable and smart. Her child was taken care of extremely well. My mother didn’t need anyone. Just her child and herself against the world.
I wanted a Dad. Yes, my Mother had men around, and sometimes married them, but I wanted a Dad. Yes my Mother went on dates and enjoyed a man’s company. I wanted a Dad. Sure we sometimes had family vacations, holidays, and other stuff. I wanted a Dad. The thing is this, my Mother was so self-reliant that the men she was involved with were not allowed to correct, cuddle, or hang out with, her little girl. She was trying to protect me. She didn’t want her baby to be hurt or abused by the hands of anyone, let alone a man. She was responsible for my well being. She wanted the best. The only thing she forgot was, sometimes a Father’s Love can help build a young girl up. I know, there are many types of families and there are more ways to raise a child besides “traditionally”. Except, I WANTED A DAD!
The way my Mother was raised, me and the people we were around tended to have Mothers and Fathers in the home. I longed for my Dad to teach me to ride a bike. I wanted my Dad to take me to the Father/Daughter dance. I wanted my Dad to come to my volleyball games. It was what I saw everyday. What was interesting is; most of my friends with their “original” parents were White. The Black families I was around were a lot of single Mothers or step families. That made me feel like that was normal. Yet, I wanted a Dad. I never told my Mother this. I didn’t want to upset her because I felt her love and care. I got comfortable in the fact that, not everyone had their “original” Dad, and that I could work hard and take care of myself and kids , if I ever had any, just fine. In my mind a “partner” was nice but not needed.
Guess what happened to my life? I grew up, got married, had kids, accepted abuse, stuck it out as long as I could, then when I couldn’t take it anymore, I ran. I got a divorce and became a strong, independent beautiful Black single mother. I began the exact same pattern as my Mother. I didn’t need anyone. I worked hard and took care of my kids and provided a good life for them. I was in control of my life. I became independent. I have 2 sons and a daughter. I showed them how to work hard and take care of themselves. Their Father isn’t in the picture, by his own choice, he also doesn’t always financially provide for them.
Thankfully, later in life I met and married a wonderful man, he is great with my children, but my children were older when we got married, and had already felt life without their Father’s love.
But, I can’t help but wonder: If I had a loving Father as a child, would I have made different choices as a Woman? I also wonder: Why are so many Black homes plagued with the same condition? Where are all the Fathers? Why is it so easy for Black men to walk away? Now, my words are not to say other races of men don’t leave their children, I know other men do. I am speaking to MY men, Black men. I’m speaking to you because, I see so many broken Black homes and broken children. I wonder why. When some Black men leave the woman, they leave the child/children. How could they? Is it Black women running them away so much that they don’t even look back to their very own seeds? How can we change this? Will this change? I would love to see more young people have their Fathers in their lives. I would love to see our families strong again. How do we achieve this?
I missed out on a Father’s love.
I now appreciate good Father’s and would love to honor them by asking you all to join me in #FatherFriday and post a picture of a man who is a example of a good Father on Friday’s. Let’s take social media by storm and change the images we promote of our own men. Join me!!