Daddy

I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend and I’m sharing a post about my daddy, but I had to share this. I was asked to be a part of an incredible project by Dr. K E Garland. Her next book is called Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships and will be released next month (pre-orders are going on now and hard book copies will be available June 2, 2018).  This is an amazing book and I wanted to share my write up for the upcoming release.

Daddy is going to give you insight into the importance of father-daughter relationships. All relationships are important, but I tell you growing up without a dad changed me. In good ways, but definitely some bad and I’m not alone. So, I wanted to share my story.

I’m so excited to be a part of this project. It was therapeutic and I know that you will enjoy the book, so please check out my interview via DADDY CONTRIBUTOR: Tikeetha Thomas

Also, look out for me promoting this awesome book for everyone and think about getting it for Father’s Day as a gift to the many men in your life that are raising daughters.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there who are making an impact in their children’s lives. Whether you are a first time dad, a father figure or you’ve been a dad for many years know that you matter. It is important that a child has a father in their life and today we honor you.

It may seem that you don’t get the recognition you deserve, but trust that is not the case. You are and will always be an irreplaceable piece in your child’s life. Never forget it. You matter. You are loved. You’re appreciated for all you do. Even when you think no one else is watching.

To my love who raised his son by himself and is getting ready to send him to college, I salute you. I know that it wasn’t easy being a single parent or a single dad, but your unwavering determination to raise your son into the man you know he will be comforts my soul. He is an absolutely beautiful young man and you deserve the accolades for doing a wonderful job. The way that you love and raise your son makes me honored to know that you would do the same for mine. Happy Father’s Day babe.

To my son’s father…I know that we are like oil and water, but I never doubt your role in our son’s life. Munch is a constant reminder of God’s unwavering love of us when he blessed us with him. Continue to love him and support him without pause and know that you matter to him. You are and will always be his dad. I am thankful for that. You are to be honored and celebrated today.

Happy Father’s Day Everyone!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 3/6/2017

I want to talk about grace today. Grace as a noun means favor or good will. I never really thought much about that word until recently. So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about grace and how it is not the same as forgiveness.

Let me tell you how I discovered that they are not the same…

I went home last month to Tennessee to see my father. It was uneventful, which was good. He’s recovering. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do. His family is helping him out.

I flew in late Saturday night and drove almost two hours to my grandma’s house. I got lost. The outlets in the rental car didn’t work. I had 10% of cell phone battery left. It was trying. I got in and went to sleep.

Sunday morning I went to church with a friend of mine to hear him preach and later that evening I went to check on my dad. We sat and talked for a couple of hours. It was good. He asked me to take him to McDonald’s and get him something to eat.

So, off we went and he started to talk about how his family mixes things up. How they get information confused. His mom (who is deceased) and/or his siblings. It was random, but he mentioned how the first time he brought his girlfriend Arlene to town from Chicago, people had assumed she was white.

I listened to him talk. I said “I remember Arlene.” He replied “You never met Arlene.” I said, “Yep, I did. It was one year that we happened to be in town and my grandma made us come over to visit your mother. Your family. Funny thing is that she didn’t even tell us you were in town. We found out by visiting. I wanted to walk down the street to the local park with some of my friends. I asked you could I go. You told me to ask Arlene. Why? She wasn’t my mother. She was the first woman that I met and you thought that your girlfriend should give me permission? She wasn’t entitled. You were the parent. I felt disrespected. You didn’t provide support for us. Neither did Arlene. Non-financial people shouldn’t have opinions. Especially not girlfriends.”

He just listened. He changed the subject. He doesn’t remember that I met his first girlfriend outside of my mother. Only that he brought her to Tennessee. I, on the other hand remember everything. I have a long memory.

My memory won’t let me forget the pain inflicted by my father. I’ve tried. Other things happened which I will tell you about later. I didn’t understand. I hadn’t felt bad in a LONG time. What was happening to me? I shouldn’t be feeling the pain of longing for a father who wasn’t there.

I came home the following Tuesday and met with my therapist that week. I told her what happened. She asked me “Why do you go and visit him?” I told her that God told me to forgive him. She inquired whether or not God told me to build a bridge with him? I told her that he only told me to forgive him. She told me “You haven’t forgiven him.” I told her “Yes”. She said “No, you’ve given him grace. You’ve not forgiven him. You have too much residual pain left.” She went on to explain that the pain is both normal and understandable considering the years of abandonment, but she needed me to think about what forgiveness looks like.

I sighed.

For the last four years of my life, I thought I gave forgiveness. I gave grace. They are not the same. The weird thing is that I never knew anyone who gave grace. I thought God was the only one to give grace.

I was wrong. We can give grace. I allowed him to occupy a space in my world after almost 30 years of no relationship by thinking I was doing as God instructed…forgiving. But, now I see I was only giving grace.

I was being graceful by allowing him to be a part of my life. I was thinking that I was forgiving him by letting him spend time with me and dealing with the parts of my life that were painful. The parts that were caused by him and others. But, I wasn’t forgiving him. I haven’t forgiven him.

I’m struggling with this uncovered feeling. I’m trying to process what I need to forgive him. It’s hard. It’s a process and ultimately, I need to both obey God and forgive my father. God forgives. God gives grace.

I am not God.

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is spent somewhere in reflection, thought and understanding of grace and forgiveness. I ask the question, “Have you forgiven or have you given grace?” Let’s focus on both this week.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Dead Beat Parents

Okay, so I have a bone to pick with dead beat parents. The ones that know that they have children and they do nothing to financially support their children. This applies to both male and female parents. I’m not picking on one gender.

Let me explain this clearly…

It costs money to raise children. You can’t raise children on sunshine and rainbows. Can they eat that? No. Can they walk to school or catch the bus on cotton balls? No. They need shoes. They can’t go to school naked. They need clothes.

I don’t care if you make minimum wage or a million dollars you have to provide for your children. That is a parent’s responsibility. Don’t want to be a parent? Don’t have sex. EVER. Why not? Because it is a possibility that you could become one.

I will NEVER EVER believe that it is okay for a parent to shirk their financial obligations to their children. The minute they were formed in that woman’s womb and you knew you were going to be a parent you should step up and do more. It is possible. Anything’s possible.

I provide support for my son. My ex-husband provides support for our son. It is not 50/50, but it’s acceptable. I provide my son’s health, dental and vision expenses solely. We split childcare. When my son is with him he feeds and clothes him. When he’s with me, I do the same.

I provide about 60% of my son’s care. This means that I pay for all his activities (swim lessons, guitar lessons, soccer, etc) and supplies (guitar, soccer cleats, balls, swim trunks, etc). I buy school supplies and tennis shoes. His dad buys school clothes. His dad isn’t working at the moment, but is still keeping up his end of the bargain with getting his son’s hair cut, feeding and clothing him.

Oh and he does the extras that I admire even though he’s not working. Being available to take him to doctors/dentists appointments on my week, following the school bus the first day of school to make sure that his son got on the right bus and got off the bus, getting his hair cut and splitting childcare expenses.

Now, if my ex-husband who is not working and is able to provide why the hell can’t some of these dead beat parents do the same? I mean what is the issue. I don’t care if you have to get a part-time job or sell yourself on the side to make ends meet you should always be able to provide something for your child. There is no excuse.

What’s even worse is that some of these parents think this is acceptable parenting. Let me help you…It’s not. When you don’t pay child support and you don’t have custody of your child it is a damn shame that you don’t buy your kids school clothes, tennis shoes, birthday or Christmas gifts. You then sit up there and act like you’re parent of the year.

You are not! You’re a joke. You need to step up and do better. Male or female. You need to know that these children have needs and you need to be able to meet those needs. Financially.

Okay, rant over!

Father’s Daughter

This is a piece that I wrote in December of last year

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I am my father’s daughter were the words that ruminated in my mind as I boarded my plane home from Tennessee last night. I smiled. I felt the peace settle into my spirit and realized that I am truly happy. Happy to know my father.

I shared my story earlier this year about how my father was an absentee father and how I learned to forgive him. I did forgive him. We started to build that bridge and get closer. I thought we had all the time in the world until he asked me to call him. It was early October.

I did call him. “I have cancer daughter” were the words that he uttered. I broke out in tears. The sobs of a child in mourning were muffled as I covered my mouth and closed my office door. “What” I stammered. “I have cancer baby” he replied. I went numb. He talked about seeing the doctor and his acceptance.

My dad had accepted that it was okay to not want to do treatment. I’ve lived a long life he says. “Dad, you’re 60, that’s not long” I muttered. However, he seemed okay with that. He was tired he told me. He wanted to die. I wanted more time. I wanted memories. How could I make up for the last 31 years missed if he was checking out? How could we get to a place of peace?

I realized a critical point in my life. I had to try. I had to truly forgive and get back to knowing this man. That’s all I could do. I cried. I left work in tears because I couldn’t bear the thought of the man that I was publicly admitting that I loved to not be here anymore. Time was slipping. Time was invaluable. Time was what I wanted. More time. I booked my flight home to Tennessee the following month and began about the task of making sure that I could create some memories.

Memories were just what I created over Thanksgiving. I spent days with my dad and family. Laughing, crying, eating and just visiting him. He spent many days in a melancholy mood obsessing over the past. He was remorseful when he talked about seeing me in 2004 and how he ignored me. He let the tears roll down his face as he said, “I’m so sorry baby”. I smiled and with tears in my eyes I said, “I know daddy. I forgive you. The same God that has granted me grace and mercy all these years has given me the gift of forgiveness.”

I learned so much about my dad and my dad’s family during my brief visit that I am in awe that it took this long. This long for me to know my dad. To know his family. To know his life. To hear him openly talk about his other children with other women. There are at least eight of us. I am the first born girl. The oldest girl he says with pride.

I don’t know if I’m happy that there are so many children that I don’t know, but what I do know is that I will no longer hold on to the past. I will no longer hold him hostage to the pain in my heart because time with him is of the essence. The time we spend is more valuable than holding on to the pain. In this space between peace and forgiveness is a grown woman who openly proclaims that I am my father’s daughter.

I have his eyes. I have his stubborn nature. I have his laugh. I am his. He is mine and even though our time is not known, I promise to spend every minute loving and appreciating this man for who is now.

© Tikeetha Thomas

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

 

Daddyless Daughters

That’s the term I learned by watching Ilyana Vanzant’s “Fix My Life with Karrueche Tran” interview. I’m a daddyless daughter. Ilyana told Karrueche that she “believes that when young women grow up without their father it breaks something in their heart that broken men will walk into”. Wow! I was literally paralyzed with a message that God had been sending me about my own life for the last month.

I have spoken openly about how my father wasn’t in my life. He was an abusive man. He was an alcoholic. But, he was my daddy. I loved him. He never hit me. He was just sick. But, what do you do when you realize that your daddy never loved you? You rebel. You find love in all the wrong places.

That was me. A virtual non-believer in love. Love was a lie. My life was a lie. How could a man love me when the man who helped create me didn’t? You run. You avoid love like the plague. You spend years building walls reinforced with steel girders that no one can break down.

Until one day you can’t run.

You have someone who sees you and wants you to stay. You see someone who says that I see all your brokenness and baggage and I want to help. I want to love you past your pain. I want to give you reason to smile. I want to make you know love and appreciate love from a man.

He says all the right things. He may even mean those things, but when you’re broken and your heart is broken, you can’t decipher fact from fiction. That the man standing there telling you all these things is in essence…broken too. So, you love. You give. You start letting those walls down because you believe that you can change him. Fix his issues. You two will be able to fix the broken parts of your life. You believe that it is not futile to endure the b.s. You believe that if you just love harder and smarter you can change him.

Until you realize that you can’t change him.

What do you do? You crawl, walk or run away from the pain. You pray, you submit to the spirit and you get therapy. You figure out what it is about you that keeps attracting broken men. What is it about you that has you thinking that you can save a man by loving him? You start to understand and repeat fervently the first stanza in the serenity prayer. You know the one that says:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Hoping and believing that it will get easier. Easier to fix you. Because let’s face it…you are the problem. You have to learn to forgive. Not for them, but for you. You have to accept that life isn’t what you wanted and dang it was hard, but you have to let go and forgive the man who left you a daddyless daughter. You have to know that you deserve it. You deserve peace.

You do.

You forgive the man who made your childhood a horror story. You forgive the man who put his hands on your mother. You forgive the man who walked out your life and never looked back. You forgive the man who left you. Not for him, but for you. So, you can grow. So you can change. So, you can stop allowing broken men to occupy time and space in your heart.

Because they don’t deserve it.

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