He was King in my eyes and heart. The kids in the neighborhood respected all the adults, but my dad was different. It seemed like everyone -old and young- looked up to him. He was King to me. I don’t remember how old I was -maybe 3 or 4- when he brought home my sister. Simple introduction of ‘this is your sister…’ she was older than me, but younger than my big sister…I don’t remember saying much to her. She looked like us. She was one of us. She cried a lot. I guess it was all too much for her as well. After a few visits -my brothers quit teasing her and we all got used to each other. Transformation began: My King…wasn’t perfect, but he was still King. One night something popped off with him and one of my brothers. He didn’t beat him. He boxed. I guess bro was too old for whoopings, but still needed discipline. Soooo he boxed with him…with the boys. Yeah, if it was a beating it’d be one thing. But this was a fight. You couldn’t fight one and the other just stand and watch. No matter WHO you were. So he boxed with them both. Smh… Transformation continued…My King was flawed, but he was still King. What other dad on the block boxed with his son? The night passed. The tension remained. Eventually, they got used to each other -again. Transformation continued when I was in middle school. I always took pride in how I put myself together. I was taught “Check your last name. You’re NAME-BRAND. When you walk out the house you represent all of us.” That meant ACT RIGHT and also look right. Well I brought home a really good report card. King said “must be because you dress nice.” …broken…. an old song says “It’s not the fall that hurts at all. It’s the sudden stop”. He lost me in that moment and didn’t even know it. But funnily enough, if I brought home less than good I’d catch hell. smh… Transformation continued. I was the still the baby. I was still HIS baby, but now the baby paid attention to the stories the siblings recounted. “Poppa was a rolling stone” gained meaning to me. The recounts continued…The history revealed…and I realized daddy wasn’t king. Mommy was QUEEN. She always was. Fast forward years later. Third year of college. I’m pregnant. He’s broken. Doesn’t talk to me for weeks. Then I’m his baby again. He’s calling and checking on me. did you take your prenatal vitamins? you getting your regular check-ups? when’s your next appointment? On the days my love couldn’t be with me at my appointments, my dad was there. Yes, he was no longer King in my eyes and heart. But he was the dad I needed. My baby became the apple of his eye. I went back to school. finished up my degree and graduated. Remember me? the one who DARED to be. But the transformation wasn’t over…. Fast forward 10 years later. I realize daddy is an alcoholic. …More truths revealed. My QUEEN confirms the stories. It hurts her to say it…it hurt her to reveal to us that he was far from King. I now understand better that he really was never King. His personality and authority just seemed to stand taller than the other men -in my eyes. But now I understood WHO this man really was. …..broken…..all over again. Disappointment overwhelmed me and I sobbed. Suddenly I’m filled to overflowing with resentment towards him. Months of thinking….turns into years of deep seated anger. I declared I will never allow any man to put me through what dad put our QUEEN through. Results into me seeing the hurts before they happened, and exited as soon as they occurred. Also resulted in me possibly sabotaging a few possibilities. Anything that even looked like what my parents had, I skipped out on.
Suddenly a moment of truth and clarity which led to my Transformation of heart and mind: he’s my father. my dad. my friend. he produced me. He never stopped loving me. If he was rich, I’d be SPOILED ROTTEN. This is a fact. I have to love and honor him as my father and allow my mother to deal with him as her husband. The two roles were and still remain totally different. It’s not the fall that hurts at all. It’s the sudden stop. This Sudden stop didn’t hurt. This sudden stop was a decision to stop resenting my dad. This decision probably saved my life.
Transformation is change. Change is hard. It can either hurt or heal. I chose to heal.