|My daddy during the 1940s|
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, 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, but of course he had his faults too. All of us do.
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|