As you all probably know by now, I did not grow up with a dad in the picture. Sure, the man was alive and living in the same city, but he wanted nothing to do with raising his sons. So my mom raised us up until she passed when I was 9 years old. We moved in with my mom's sister and their mom after that--so, in other words, with my maternal aunt and grandmother.
|Mom, Grandma, lil brother and me (right).|
Grandma and auntie raised us for the next 12 years or so until I graduated college and moved out on my own. All three women shaped me into the man I am today. They were my rock, my guidance, and my heart. They protected me when the world was fearful, sang to me when my heart was sad, and taught me life's stern lessons whenever I thought I had it all figured out. They also taught me that one does not need a father to make it through life, and that women are to be respected and praised for all the hard work and sacrifice they bring.
|Pumpkin picking with Auntie, baby sis, lil bro, and me (right).|
So I never cared that my father was not around -- but it would have been nice if he were. He never taught me how to be a man: how to carry myself, how to fight and stand up for myself like a man should. Never taught me how to drive, or dance, or tie a tie, or shave, or even how to fix a damn flat tire! I learned all these things on my own or from the women in my life. Needless to say, I have a low opinion of men. Yet, I strive all my life to make myself the kind of man I would have been proud to call my father when I was younger.
How fucked up is that? I was, in essence, my own father. But honestly, that role was filled by three others. And if they happened to be women, who cares? They were the best damn father a boy could ask for!
Happy Father's Day mommy, auntie, and gran'ma. I'm more of a man today through your love and support than I could have ever been learning from my real dad's example.
|College grad with baby sis (left), Grandma, and Auntie.|