I Pay You Tribute, Dear Father by Maxine Foster

Every child wants to know that their father hold a special place in their hearts. A father is a great significance in a child’s eyes and in the household. A father presence brings comfort, love and a feeling that they are somebody, and a feeling of being protected. I reflect the time my father sat me on his lap and we pretend I was driving his love buggy. I could hear him laugh out loud. My father and my mother separated while I was at a tender age. I was deeply sad about this and wished things did not occur the way it did. But one thing I saw with my father and mother, which I remember and hold dear. They did not hold on to ‘anger’ towards each other. I never heard mom spoke ‘ill’ about dad or anyone, likewise my father about my mom. My father would call mom now and then to see how we all were doing, through out his busy schedule. I remember once he called me and I ask him, dad do you love me? He answered “yes, what kind of question is this? I said nothing and hand mom the phone. Although I saw his telephone call, back then, as nothing, I can now see it was something. In my eyes, my father, whom I always refer to even now, as daddy, meant the world to me. I loved everything about him, his smile, looks, laughter, his height (no taller than I…he was short), the way he use to play with little children, carry himself, speak in a diplomatic way and his brilliant mind. But I saw my father had a flaw, like so many men, which is positive and negative in a sense; his weakness for female. My father presence attracted many women who were as highly intelligent as him; that’s the part I admired about him, he chose women with ‘class, brains, beauty, and with character. I believe he truly cared and love them in his own way. But there came a time, my father had to make a commitment, stick with it and do right. When he finally made a commitment, he took ill couple of years after. At the time I was in denial of his illness, that he may pass away. I just refuse to see my father at such a weak point in his life, wanted to see that strong figure, smile and when he strums, play the ‘guitar,’ singing to me, everyone, my brothers and sisters on Sunday morning at church. On Feb, 13, 1997, dad passed on, the day before, Feb, 14; I was schedule to perform, Valentine day and the day my son father and I decided never to communicate with each other again. I sat frozen on my bed when mom came in the room to let me know dad went into a transition; truthfully I already knew after my last visit with him. Part of my body felt so numb and empty inside. I wanted to travel with my father on his journey to meet the great one. I began to resent my father for dieing, leaving me, allowing me to face the world alone especially the day before Valentine’s Day. I was very angry at dad for abandoning me at the time I truly need him, his support and I uttered “I hate you daddy,” when really I truly loved my father. His absence, for a while, allowed me to dislike Valentine, the color red, roses and I did not want to speak, laugh, nor allowed my face to smile anymore because in my mind, dad allowed ‘death’ to take him away before bringing closure with us all. On November 24, 2005, as I lay in bed, refusing to be a part of the celebration in my home, as mom was trying to make me smile. I did not want to speak to any of my brothers and sister because their pain reminds me of my own deep pain. As I lay, staring through my window pane, as I tried to suppress my tears, suddenly, my heart stopped for a minute and all the heaviness in my heart just came out. I believe, the heavenly father, allowed me to release those built up ‘pain’ of my father absence out of me, I felt free within. I then said a quiet prayer asking our divine master to bring unity with all my brothers and sisters, to find closure, to allow them to feel dad’s love, their own and enjoy the mom they have presently. The great one also uses my older brother to bring almost all of our brothers and sisters together. I was able to smile, laugh, even sing for a moment and saw mom dancing to my brother playing the guitar and singing. It was the best thanksgiving I had in a long time. I couldn’t help but giggle within, like a school girl. I whispered, thank you heavenly father, “I love you daddy and the word; “I pay you tribute, dear father. So, happy father’s day to you dad, I miss you, always, loved you and to all fathers and extended fathers, I say once again, Happy fathers day to you! Continue to do what you are doing with your children, a wonderful job.