Today is Father's Day, and I want to begin this with a salute and much appreciation to those stand Up Gentleman out there taking care of their responsibilities. As well as those who've stepped in and taken care of children in any way possible, Male and Female. You are so influential to our future generations. 

Father's Day this year I wanted to get some things off my chest so forgive me If this gets too deep for the intro. There are deep emotions I feel when it comes to the topic of Fathers and my upbringing. My Mom did an amazing Job without the help or financial assistance of my biological Father my whole life. i could never repay her in a million lifetimes for the sacrifices she made for me. Growing up my Father was vaguely in my life. I have memories spending time with him but most times i was dropped off to my Granny or dumped off to my Uncle Gary's house for whole summers to play with my cousin Chip while he worked or whatever he was doing.  My mom never knew until one summer she popped up to get me and my father was no where to be found for weeks. See my Father never got a degree anywhere, Im not even sure he graduated High school but he always worked; well thats what I was told, who knows what was going on. He would drop me off and I wouldn't see him for days until it was time for Church. We never missed Church and after his Accident when I was maybe 5, where he flew threw a windshield falling asleep driving, he became even more spiritual and ultimately giving his life to Christ and Becoming a Minister. As I got older my father grew closer with christ and further from me. I say this because as a 7 year old, Church 6 days out the week and a Blockbuster Movie rental (that I never got to choose) every Saturday night was not fun. So much that I despised going to visit my Father who had now moved from ten minutes away in Capitol Heights to over an hour away in Manassas Virginia with his new wife Toni. I never had any ill intent in my behavior but I knew going to spend time with my father meant nothing but church, chores, and back home right before bedtime for school Monday. I remember vividly a meeting between my mom and dad and step mom Toni about whether I wanted to continue living with my mom and grandparents, or go to live in VA with my Dad. Easy choice to me; freedom, friends, normalcy, and spoiled-ness over church and chores all day long. I mean who asks a 7-8 year old a life changing decision like that anyway? Im sure it came out like "Im good luv, enjoy" but looking back I never realized how pivotal that decision was. 

From then on I saw my Father maybe twice a year, Christmas, and a random weekend stay whenever I felt like he remembered he had a son. It was always awkward my step mom would try to spoil me but it failed in comparison to my Grandparents and how they spoiled their eldest Grand baby. She's always been extremely nice though and my Father on the other hand always seemed like we couldn't connect. I would fake smiles and go along with the charade that he was doing his job as a Father in public or at church but in reality It was a facade that I felt I had to keep up because he was a Minister. To this day I don't think my father knows when my birthday is and every year he's a month early or two months late if he calls at all. I can't remember the last birthday present Ive received from my father. The last thing he did for me was take me to get my learners permit, which pissed my mom off so bad that when it was time for me to go take the driving test she purposely hid my birth certificate and SS card so I couldn't drive for years. I mean literally I didn't get my license until 22. (I forgave her and understand now that Im older) but I digress.

I guess I never thought about if it hurt to know I didn't want to go with my Father. I just never felt like he was really trying to make an effort. I mean I saw my mom bust her ass day in and day out to make ends meet and anytime she would ask my father for help it was "I aint got it". The last straw in my mind was when I asked him to help me get into College and Co-sign a loan for my financial aid. He straight up said No, he couldn't do it. I began to resent my dad but my baby sister Cierra always kept me from hating him because he was a father to her. My first time seeing her I fell in love with her chubby cheeks and smile, and even keeping her baby pics in my wallet to this day. I think she is the only person that could help mend me and my father's relationship. She knows him way better than I do and experienced him being there day in and day out something Ive never had the chance to. But she's so young I would never burden her with me and his issues.

As of today I release all hurt, malice, resentment toward the man that helped bring me into this world. Because you weren't there, I learned a lot of things the hard way, I took paths you should have steered me away from, and missed out on a bond I really admire that I see other men and their fathers having. But in retrospect on the opposite side of the spectrum your absence taught me not to rely on anyone, make my own way, and do for self, valuable lessons I credit my success to. You forced the amazing bond I have with my Mom, Grandparents, and Uncles who taught me how to be the Man I am today. The Father figures in my life were better for me than you were, I learned the meaning of love and what being a standup Man for your family is from my Grandfather, how to treat a woman from my Mother, how to fight and be competitive from my Uncle Boo, and how to be unconditionally caring from my GrandMother and Uncle Mike. I am forever in debt to you all for your integral part in my upbringing. You all deserve an amazing Father's day as much as any biological father.

The saying goes "it takes a village to raise a child". Im just glad to have had that village when you went absent and I can't do anything but celebrate them today for Father's Day even though deep down in a dark corner of my heart I wish it was with you. 

I have Daddy Issues.

Happy Father's Day...