My eyes tear up before I even begin to write this…
I never imagined this time one year ago would be the last time I would lay eyes on my dad’s face. Even before the moment he took his last breath and since then I’ve thought about the longings I’ve had as he had been the one constant man in my life. Never thought he wouldn’t have the chance to walk me down the aisle. Though he didn’t really dance, never imagined my dream of dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “Pride & Joy” with him wouldn’t happen. And as I pray that I’ll be blessed with children, knowing he’ll never meet him/her, I still hope to have the opportunity to honor him by giving the middle name of ‘Allen’ (or ‘Nella’ if a girl) to a child to in a sense carry him on and a family tradition, like he, his brother, and his father had before him.
I write this post for two reasons.
One, for the various people who have had a loved one pass over the last year or years. Be it the friends and relatives that have lost a mother or father in the last few months or years, those whose brother or sister have passed on, or even those who long for or miss a child, though you may not know it, I think and pray for you often. Dealing with no longer having someone you cherish here on earth is not something that is often talked about after the initial few weeks or months, but many carry those feeling long after others can even imagine. It’s often something kept hidden in our private times.
I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.
As I strive to be the uplifting and strong one, this is a side that I don’t often show because I don’t want people to worry about me but trust me I’m alright. However, I want you to know, it’s ok if there are days you simply aren’t. It’s ok to cry, to long, to miss them…months, years afterwards. I know my tears are an expression of how much my dad meant to me and the love that was shared.
And I hope that like me, you can find the beauty in the songs, the belongings left behind, the memories that get you emotional that make them unforgettable. And moreso, I hope you take the time and opportunity to honor them and to continue their legacy in what they gave you. What you shared with them, share it with others.
The other reason I write this is to share the legacy of my dad. Though he was mostly a quiet man, his impact on not just me, but on those who were blessed to know him, in my eyes was profound. Devoted, giving, helpful, sensible, intelligent, Dad poured into me the best of what a man could ever give a little girl, a growing young lady, and an evolving woman. And the best way I know to continue and honor him, is to pour that into those whose lives I’m able to touch. Particularly the young girls, and women (and even boys & men) that I know have not had the blessing of such a man in their lives, I can only hope to give a snippet of what dad gave me.
It’s a blessing to know you are loved beyond reason. For someone to give you a lifetime of knowing you are treasured, you have so much potential and possibility, to know even if you fall they will be there for you, are just a few things dad blessed me to know.
Let us not be so attached to any hurt, pain, or sadness in missing those who have passed on, that we forget about or take away from the opportunity we have to bless those still amongst us.
I owe that not only to my dad, my brother, cousins, grandparents…but even more, to you. Be blessed and seize each moment given in honoring those who we continue to remember and love.
In honor of the lives of and those who loved:
Fred Allen Holloway
Maude & Robert Holloway
Cora & Hugh Brown
Calvin Brown Sr.
Linda Faye Lett
Paul Tucker, Jr.
Ron & Melva Samuels
and many more..