I Am My Father’s Daughter

This has been an interesting holiday season. I spent Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house which is something that I hadn’t done since college. It felt good to be in grandma’s house and in her presence. I love spending time with my grandma and this year I got to spend time with my dad.

As many of you know from my prior posts that my dad was an absentee father for many years. He wasn’t around. He chose not to have a relationship with me. It’s weird because going home to be with him was both scary and wonderful at the same time. I was getting to know the man who was standing before me.

I wanted to make memories. Good ones. I wanted to capture the essence of his spirit and remember his face because I’ve spent so many years missing him. Missing the man who used to tuck me into bed, kiss my forehead and tell me I’m beautiful. Missing that man.

But, I tell you that there is something to be said for getting to know him as an adult. We got to talk about some of the things we’ve missed: men, dating, relationships, sex and family. LOL! It was an interesting conversation whereby I learned a lot about him and he learned a lot about me.

I got to have quality time with my dad. He was remorseful of the things that he’s done in the past. He said, “Daughter, I’m just so sorry that I wasn’t there for you.” I replied, “Dad, it’s okay. God has protected me and allowed me to forgive you. It is through HIS grace and mercy that I’m able to sit here and just love you for you.”

Wasn’t that awesome? It was wonderful to be with my dad and just exist in a space that I’ve yearned to have for so many years. To just look into his eyes and see my reflection. To know that he is still very much the man who gave me the greatest daddy/daughter moments for the first 9 years of my life. To see his smile reflected in my accomplishments.

I’ve spent so many years wanting this moment that it feels awesome to know that I have it. That I am my father’s daughter, his first-born girl and a woman that he is extremely proud to know. This road to healing is a long and winding road, but I promise him something that I’ve never had…patience.

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Three Things That I Want You to Know – 11/28/15

Hi Everyone,

I’m home in Tennessee today and here are three things that I wanted you to know:

  1. I like coming home to Tennessee. It gives me a great sense of family and appreciating what God has blessed me with. I spent Thanksgiving with my grandmother (on my mother’s side) and my aunties, uncles and cousins. It’s a fat girl weekend whereby I will be walking my butt off (as long as it’s not too cold outside) while I’m here.
  2. I hate traveling on Thanksgiving. Although there were no major delays or issues, I just hate traveling on Thanksgiving. I arrived late for dinner, but thankfully a dinner plate and some desserts were hidden away for me. Yes, I’m spoiled and I’m thankful that my family supports this weary traveler.
  3. I’m home because my dad has cancer. My goal is to gather as much knowledge, strength and support that I can to be here for the man I’m just starting to get to know. I’m capturing our time with photos and my desire to make sure that my dad knows that I forgive him for not being around and that I love him. I thought we would have had more time, but it was not in the cards, but I’m prayerful. He has a lot of children and at the moment I’m the only one who wants to have anything to do with him.

Those are my 3 things for this week and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. We’ll chat on Monday!

Check Out My Latest Post on My Brown Baby

Hey loves,

These last few days have been a wonderful whirlwind experience. After the last couple of weeks it has been good to get out of my funk. I had submitted a Father’s Day piece to Denene Millner’s “My Brown Baby”, but I never heard back. Then yesterday she contacted me to say she’s sorry she missed it and would like to publish it. Yay!

Her exact words:

TIKEETHA! This piece is all the things. Every last one of them. THANK YOU for sharing it with me. I’m sorry that I’m just getting back to you and that it’s too late for it to run for Father’s Day. But I think it stands on it’s own. It will kick off the posts this week; what a lovely message to send first thing on a Monday morning. I went over to your site; it’s beautiful! I love your writing and look forward to reading more of your work. I scrolled through and found the pic of your baby and father; I’m going to use it to illustrate your post. I hope that’s okay. If it isn’t, just pop me an email and I’ll find a substitute pic first thing in the morning. The post will be live at midnight.
Thank you so much, again, for sharing your piece with MyBrownBaby. I’m sure the readers will be grateful for your sharing your heart.

Awesome sauce! Can you believe it?

I was excited because of three things:
  1. She wants to publish my piece.
  2. She’s a NY Times Best Selling author who loves my writing. (Key halo music)
  3. People read what I write and I’m growing my followers.

I’m thankful for it all. So there you have it folks. Check out my latest piece on My Brown Baby by clicking here: My Piece

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Today is father’s day and I want to wish all the men out there who are father’s or play a fatherly role to a child, Happy Father’s Day! We salute and honor you for all that you do. I know it seems that no one recognizes you and all your contributions, but trust me they do. More importantly, the children recognize your importance.

Here’s a poem I wrote in honor of my son’s relationship with his dad. I wanted to share what I think that my 7-year-old thinks about his dad. The first person that held him. The first person that kissed him. The first person that changed his diaper. His dad.

I AM HIS

Strong

Powerful

Reliable

First love

Survivor

Friend

Guardian

Protector

My dad

Always knows what to do

Protects me from the dark

Holds my hand always

Tells me he loves me everyday

Even when I can’t be near him I

Call to remind him of my voice

He smiles and laughs and says

“You know I will never forget” and I nod

But, there is something about my daddy

That makes me want to always check-in and

Share

The small things that happened

Talk about my day

For this man whose eyes and smile are a reflection of my own

Loves without thought

Gives without concern

And knows

That he is raising a king

His king

Enjoy your day loves!

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My Father’s Day Gift: Forgiveness

If you’ve been reading my blog you already know that I never had a relationship with my dad until recently. My parents separated when I was 9 years old and it was hard for me to figure out a way to cope with a man who chose to forget about me instead of love me.

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Me in the 3rd grade.

It was many years and many failed relationships that I realized that I needed my dad. I needed him because he was the missing link in my life. I was broken and playing at being whole, but deep down inside my daddy was what I wanted and needed. I had to forgive.

Forgiveness is a process for me. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. I am stubborn. I get that from my mama. But, I needed to truly forgive the man who abandoned me.

I can honestly say after three years of trying to forgive, I have. It happened when I went home last month for Mother’s Day to Tennessee. I went to visit my dad.

My son wanted to meet his grandfather. I had been nervously wondering about this meeting because munch is my everything. I didn’t want to allow my dad the opportunity to meet the little boy who was God’s greatest gift to me only to abandon him like he did me. I was afraid. I let that fear lead me. When my son asked, “Mommy, can I please call Mr. Frank grandpa?” I replied, “No, munch. Not yet. Let’s meet him first.” He responded by asking “Why? Isn’t he my grandfather?”

You see that? My fear was allowing me to control what my son wanted to have…a relationship with his grandfather. I let the conversation drop and went to visit my dad the Monday after Mother’s Day. I sat there nervously wondering how my son would react. My dad was creepy looking. I love him, but he hadn’t aged well and he actually looked like a burnt out Dick Gregory. But, I held fast to the belief that this was what munch wanted.

We got out of the car and I held his hand tightly. I walked him over to introduce him to my dad and he let go of my hand and ran to him and wrapped his arms around his neck and said, “Grandpa! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m Brennan!” Just like that. My son’s acceptance of the man he didn’t know but already loved allowed me to truly forgive my father.

Love. Acceptance. Forgiveness.

I love him for the person he was, but more importantly for who he wasn’t. Because I think my life turned out the way it was supposed too.

I accept the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and his monkey will never leave his back. He’s not hitting women anymore, but he still hits the bottle. Alcoholism is a disease and I accept who he is.

I forgive the man who abandoned me when I was a child. Who walked out of my life and never looked back. The man who created other children with other women and abandoned them as well. I forgive the man who stands before me because I see him not as superman but simply a man. My dad. Broken and all. I love this man because he is me and I am him.

So, this Father’s Day is actually pretty awesome because I’m openly loving the man who had publicly abandoned me. Telling the world that I forgive this man and love him. I’ve sent him a Father’s Day card for the first time in my life.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

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My dad and munch sitting outside his house. – 5/2015

 

Woman to Woman

Let’s have a talk shall we? As I’ve stated in prior posts, I’m in a state of transition..that from married to single. It’s been a long time since I was single and my first time as a single parent trying to have a co-parenting relationship. I will always love my ex for it was he who gave me our son, but I have to say something… this crap gets hard sometimes!

Not that I’m looking to fix a flat tire or repair my marriage, but co-parenting when we can’t seem to act like adults is hard as hell. Yep, I said “we” purposely. I’m not going to sit here and let you believe that I’ve got this all figured out and I’m the best person when it comes to disengaging my personal animosities and trying to co-parent effectively. I don’t.

Most of the time it is trial and error. Many errors, some good things and a lot of okay things happen. I think letting go of old wounds from our marriage is what is contributing to the bad head space we can find ourselves in. Why? Because we’re both headstrong individuals who have to be right. We both want to have the last word. We both hope that we don’t screw up our son.

Our son lives with his dad 50% of the time and with me 50% of the time. His needs come first. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we put his needs first. Yes, he is six and yes he is aware that his mommy and daddy will not live together anymore. But, more than that he realizes that the two people who gave him life love him more than we ever thought possible.

The reason why I am calling this post “Woman to Woman” is because I needed to get something off my chest. If you are a woman dating my ex and plan on being around there are some things you should know. A list of how to deal with me and my desire to raise an incredibly wonderful little boy in two separate homes. Here you go:

  1. Never, ever listen to us argue. You see if my ex should get reckless and try to prove to you that I’m crazy and hold a personal conversation on the phone with me while you are riding in his car, be woman enough to tell him that it’s not acceptable. What we argue about should never concern you in your preliminary role.
  2. Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean that I don’t do my research. I’m a protective mama cub. I only have one child and he means more to me than anything in my life. That being said who you are (your first and last name) matter to me.
  3. I don’t want him back. Nope, I don’t. I love my ex because he and I were together so long. We made memories. Some good, some bad, but in the end the greatest thing we ever did was have our son. I’m not trying to do it again. No matter what you hear.
  4. Understand that no one will ever take my place. Not that I think you believe that, but my ex said that to me. He actually said, “No one can ever take your place as our son’s mother.” Dude, I know this. I still have the incision where he was taken from me five weeks early. There is never a replacement for the original. I’m his mommy.
  5. What happens in my home is my business and vice versa. Unless my son volunteers information, I will never, ever question him about what occurs at his father’s house. It’s none of my business unless it affects his well-being. That being said, very little will ever affect his well-being (because his dad adores him) so I don’t care what happens at daddy’s house as long as he is being loved, fed, clothed and nurtured in the best way possible.
  6. Being a part of his dad’s life long term will mean that you will have to meet me. Understand that I bear no ill will or animosity towards you. I am a mother. I am a woman and I believe in the unity of all women. I encourage us to be civil and make the transition for my child seamless and positive. But, understand that you will have to do your part…know and accept that I will always want to do what is in the best interest of my son. No one is more qualified to make important decisions than his dad and I. No one.

One of the greatest things his dad did after we split was rush over to my house because our son had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. It was almost 20 minutes of blood gushing and him screaming. His dad called and he screamed, “I want my daddy”. His dad was in a movie and left and said, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” You know what? He was. Not because of me, but because his son needed him. That was pretty awesome and it made me realize one thing…his dad will move mountains for him and for that I am eternally thankful.

I am new to this co-parenting thing and no I didn’t expect to have it figured out, but I’m trying. His dad and I make a lot of stupid mistakes (mainly because we’re pig-headed) but we are trying. We will someday get this right, but I want the temporary (or permanent) women to know that there is no reason to be less than a woman when attaching yourself to the foolishness that may be us. We love our son and we will get it right (hopefully sooner rather than later) someday.

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