Sunday, June 17, 2012

Letters From My Daddy

My daddy during the 1940s; this photo is a copy of the original that Daddy gave my mother after they met several years after he served in the Army.  My framed copy hangs in my den.
While he was the biological father of four, in my eyes, I was his only child.  My siblings as well as my mother often referred to me as his favorite.  Subconsciously, I knew this, too, and knew that if I asked Daddy for anything, he'd never deny me.

He was my nurturer. It is his arms that I recall cradling and rocking me as a toddler. He sang lullabies to me (go to sleep little baby), gave me lots of hugs and kisses, and told me often that he loved me throughout my life.   It was Daddy who greeted me in the afternoons at the busy intersection that my 6-year-old self had to cross to get safely home from school.

When my sister was 5, Daddy found her packing her little belongings in a brown paper bag and asked her where she was going.  She explained that she was mad at Mama and was running away.  This was a couple of weeks prior to a planned trip to New York that she and my mother were taking.  To calm Robin down, Daddy, said, "Well baby, don't you think you should wait until you get back from New York to run away? That way, you'll be able to take your trip.  If you leave now, you won't."  This was food for thought for the young 5-year-old, who said, "Yeah... that's a good idea!"  Of course, her anger at Mama subsided long before that trip took place and probably seconds after Daddy's brilliant manner of convincing her not to run.

Daddy and Mama some time during the 1970s
Greater than his love for me was his adoration of my mother.  He'd do anything for her, too.  As Mama sat on the floor on a cushion between his legs, Daddy would comb and brush her long black hair and massage her scalp afterward.  Daddy would take us shopping and wait patiently while the three of us (Mama, my sister, and I) shopped for hours at a time because Mama never learned to drive.  Affectionately, she was his "Boo."  He was a very good husband, provider, and father.  A great role model for his sons.

His marriage to my mother lasted 25 years before irreconcilable differences ended it.  Daddy remarried and moved to Paris, but his love for my mother never ceased.  
After their divorce, during each of our visits, telephone conversations, or in his handwritten letters to me postmarked Paris, Texas, he'd always ask, "How's Mama?"   Often he'd say, "You know I still love her."  Sometimes he'd jokingly ask, "Is she still fussing?"  I'd say, "Yeah," to which he'd reply, "she's all right."

Yesterday, I re-read some of my daddy's letters that he wrote to me from 1992 through 1998, the year he died of prostate cancer.  They brought back pleasant memories that will live forever in my heart.


~~~~~~~~~~

To add some doll flavor, I'm sharing the following picture of Chandra, who has found a love interest.  Chandra's beau reminds me of my father.  Perhaps I should name him Charles since he looks nothing like the person he's supposed to portray.

Chandra and her new beau, formerly Michael Jordan, now Charles

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11 comments:

  1. You know I started tearing up after reading the title. Wow, he sounds like a gem. I've always loved witnessing the love between a father and his daughter(s). Probably because my father and I never had that, although he was there with me and the family until a few years after I left for college. I love that your parents were so in love. I was a little shocked at the divorce, but I've often said sometimes love just isn't enough. Sad, but true. Love the new couple. Thanks for sharing your dad with us.

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  2. THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL! AND BOTH YOUR PARENTS WERE BEAUTIFUL! AND OMG CHANDRA BETTER WORK FOR THAT STRONG BLACK MAN! OWWW!

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  3. Very sweet post Debbie. My parents were also together for 25 years, but the bond was not like yours. My older sister (first born) was his favorite. It was cool, I was a Mama's girl. : ). Thanks for a great post and for sharing this lovely story.

    Happy Sunday!

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  4. Hi Deb! Love your blog! You've inspired me to start one too! Please join me here:

    http://littlebittydamnhouze.blogspot.com/

    Hugs!
    Lee

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  5. Happy fathers day Debbie. Arent memories great your Dad sounded like a wonderful man and father you were very lucky.

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  6. Thanks everyone for your comments, happy father's day, and happy Sunday wishes - I hope you enjoyed your day.

    Georgia Girl - My sister and my mother have a closer bond than we do, so if she has a favorite between the two of us, "I" would say it is my sister. My mother will not admit that, but the truth is the truth. Some people, mothers and daughters included, just develop a closer bond.

    Lee - I am following your blog now. Congrats on your new home. It's beautiful.

    dbg

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  7. Prostate cancer got my father, too. 2005.

    Thanks for sharing your family story. Is it just me or do you and your mother look a lot alike?

    Glad you have special and happy memories of your dad.

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    1. So sorry that your father succumbed to prostate cancer, Dana. My father didn't like doctors and didn't see about himself soon enough for a cure.

      No it's not just you. I've heard that my mother and I favor all my life; why just yesterday.

      dbg

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  8. This is a beautiful post, Debbie. What a blessing to have such a loving and devoted father.

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  9. Thanks for sharing lovely Father's Day memories. I really like the photo of Chandra and her new boo at the end.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!