Last weekend was Father’s Day.
For me, there’s only one small problem: I don’t know who my dad is.
I don’t know what he looks like.
Here’s a stock photo I found. In my imaginings, I think he might look a bit like a poet— lean and tall, with deep, intelligent eyes, and high cheekbones (what we on the streets would term a “pretty mf”—with swag for days!).
Here’s what I DO know:
He loved me. I never met him, but he did. Keep reading.
Momma loved him. She didn’t come out of the womb cruel. Life made her that way. And she is capable of love, because she loved him.
Momma hated him, too. But I think that was because of me.
Will you walk with me?
There was a time when my parents were in love.
Momma already had a child, a beautiful baby girl—just two years old when I was conceived.
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what changed.
But I do know Momma didn’t want me.
And I know my daddy saved my life.
I was raised knowing that if momma could have aborted me, she would have. But my father said “No.” And he said it with such authority that Momma backed down.
She resented him because she felt like he had turned his back on her.
She even tried to have a miscarriage.
God said “No.”
I was born breech. My father came to the hospital to see me.
But it was too late. Momma’s love had turned to rage.
She told my dad he would never see me.
And he knew Momma. Once her mind was made up, she was done.
So he left. And momma kept her promise.
My father never saw me. Not once.
Decades later, it was during a conversation I had with God that I had an epiphany:
The very first person to stand for my life was my father.
I do not know his name.
I have never laid eyes on him.
He has never seen me.
But before I was born he fought for my life.
Yes, he was a brother from the streets.
Yes, he was a hot-tempered hustler from the streets who had mastered the game.
But he loved me.
He wanted me.
I spent my life relating to myself as momma’s pain—but the truth is, I am a Daddy’s Girl.
And that’s why today, I want to say this to my father … my dad … my daddy: THANK YOU.
Thank you for wanting me.
For keeping me alive.
I know you don’t know me. I know we may never meet. But I like to imagine that you loved me the way I think God loves me …
I hope you are proud of me.
That perhaps on some energetic level, you know that the best of you runs through my veins.
I love you daddy.
Thank you for giving me life, and for saving my life.
Happy Father’s Day.