Saturday, June 14, 2008

To my hero on Father's Day

While listening to the moving tributes to Tim Russert, I was struck by the admiration he had for his father, “Big Russ”. I remembered thinking, ‘Tim felt about his father the same way I feel about my father, Pastor Ray!' Aunt Lil's baby brother. My father claimed his reward ten years ago and there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of him.

My parents were of the 1950’s. My father would catch ‘em and my dear mother would fry ‘em and somehow they always made ends meet. Today, I marvel at how one man could afford to maintain a family of six mouths to feed plus the many dogs, rabbits, ducks and turtles we had over the years in River Terrace, Washington, D.C. Oh, how could I forget, Pastor Ray’s father, Poopie, had fourteen kids who loved and adored him, too!

My father had no visual sight in the last fifteen years of his life, yet he was able to see so clearly. I cherished his wisdom and consulted with him on major issues and even on those not so major. Sometimes, I find myself picking up the phone to call him only to remember that we now communicate, spiritually. My only regret is that he can not be with me to share the excitement of Senator Obama’s candidacy the way we did when D.C. won Super Bowl XXII. Right after the game, we rode up and down Pennsylvania Avenue , honking the horn, yelling and screaming like two maniacs!

My father was the greatest man I’ve ever known and if you had known him I’m sure you would’ve agreed. If you do not have a father in your life, find one…adopt a father so that you can experience what Tim and I had in our lives, too.

Love ya, Dad!


yummy411 said...

great tribute post! i've gotten so comfortable with my mental picture of him that to see the more 'physical'one is shocking. thanks for sharing. and look at you as i remember this as the uncle before shaving all of his hair off.

this isn't a tribute, but just a memory. i remember coming to the house for some reason with my mother and i was very upset about something else going on before arriving. i mumbled hello to everyone,not making any eye contact, but sat down and tried to be in my own world. i kept hearing references of big lips, the mother land and just foolishness about granddad (remarks made by my aunts). i finally decided to come out of my world to see what in the heck they were talking about.... all i had to do was literally look up as granddad was sitting across from me eating something soupy (as he always did.. with a fork!) my eyes grew in amazement that his lips were almost bigger than his head!! side effects of some meds he was taking.... sad, funny, he's missed...

microbrother said...

Yummy, your grandfather lived with chronic pain for the second half of his life. He hid his suffering from most of us and would rise in the wee hours of the morning to read scripture to ease his agony. My only comfort from his death is knowing that he is, now, at peace and suffers no more.

Antoinette said...

Wow! I know this is late, but with two small computer time is limited. I'm actually up with John Michael now at 1:40 am.

This picture really takes me back to a time that seems just like yesterday; but so much has happened since then. What I wouldn't give to have a little of that time back.

You are indeed correct that grandad was a very wise man. I couldn't appreciate much of what he told me in my younger days...but as an adult now..I reflect back and think, "Wow, he was right!" If he was here now, I'd probably pick his brain a lot. Grandad was such a leader. I hope to be able to keep my complaints to a minimum and praises non stop the way he did. As I look back...he certainly did make the best of all his trials....and I'd like to be remembered that way.

An example of making the best of one trial: His fading eyesight---

The Lord's grace was on grandad's life and ours (the grandkids) as he would drive the Volkswagen Beetle to visit family and run errands with us in tow...when he couldn't see much of anything. He would ask us to tell him if the light was green, yellow or red. We would comply happily as if we were playing a game when grandad was behind the wheel. I guess we was called Russian Roulette (I hope I spelled that correctly). Lol! All I can say is grace and mercy were upon us.

I miss grandad so much! He exemplified what a good husband and father were supposed to be. Thinking of you this Father's Day, grandad :-)