My Family

I'll start with my father, because this will be easy:

My father is... umm... you know, I actually think that aside from the whole abandoning me thing, my father is a good guy. Really. I have a hard time imagining that my mom would've fallen all in love with him if he didn't have somebody's positive characteristics. And there are things about myself that I don't see in my mom and I just know I had to get from him -- and I think those things are good.

However, unfortunately the script he's written in my life is one of subpar activity. He's been non-present, non-active, non-supportive. He's, unfortunately, been the stereotypical black father. I guess, though, it's hard to be present for every child when you have 9 by different women (yes, that was a low blow... I get to take a few cheap shots).

There are days I'm so angry at him, days where I don't care and days where I want to reach out to him. I don't know what the future holds, but right now, today, he's going to have to make that first move.

As I grow older, my appreciation and love for my mother only grows. When I was younger she used to talk about her late mother with such awe. I used to love to hear her reminisce just to hear her talk that way -- but I'm getting to a point where I completely understand that. My mother is awesome. Strong, smart, beautiful... everything I pray God will allow me to grow up to be one day.

She was a single parent. Ya'll gathered that. It's not easy being a single parent. Ya'll knew that.

When I was a freshman in high school, my mom quit her job and went back to school. Everyone told her she was crazy. She had a child, in private school no less, to support. But she did it anyway and she now has a degree in nutrition and massage therapy. This story has been a jumping off point for many essays I've had to write about myself and my background. I didn't get it at the time, but the more I come to understand exactly what it took to go back to school at 45 the more I understand that "strength" isn't the word for it.

I am who I am because of God and because of my mother. Whatever you could want to know about the type of woman she is, you can see it in me.


Thoughtsofsoutherngal said...

Do you communicate with any of your siblings?

CareyCarey said...

Okay, it's question time. I know your uncle lived with you and your mother, yet, how has the absence of your father shaped you as a black woman. I ask that question because there are opinions that say (understandably) that a young girl learns her understanding of men, and how to relate to them, by the men they are around. Along that line, children learn their relationship skills (good and bad) by watching how their parents interact.

Your thoughts?

Ms. Payne said...

You know when I read these things I always shift into a mindset of the usual "my daddy left me" but your irreverence about it all makes me know that there are people who are not using this as a "crutch" amen sister. Big ups to the moms out there doing it on their own!

A.Smith said...

Traycee - I used to be in regular contact with 2 of my sisters (long, long ago) -- now I speak to only one, and that's on her birthday, since it's 2 days before mine.

Carey - I'm going to come back to you because I don't have a lot of time and what I need to say will take a minute (and some space...)

AP - you know I don't do crutches... :)

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