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Happy Father's Day

               
          My family is from Petersburg, VA and I spent a lot of my childhood down there. My great grandparents were the best. My great grandfather recently passed away but while he was here he and my great grandmother spoiled me and my siblings just as they spoiled my Dad and his. When my grandmother (Dad's Mom) was a teen she met my Grandfather, one thing led to another and BOOM, my Dad was born. Their relationship was rocky and abusive causing my grandmother to come up north where my aunts were already living.  My grandmother cut off contact with my grandfather so my dad was raised in a single parent household with my Pop and great uncles being a huge influence in his life. But from the way the story is told it seems like there was always a void. My dad stayed in and out of trouble, from Philly to VA, and I never asked him what he was running from or to but I kind of have an idea. 
          Fast forward to now my dad has met my mom and he's still in and out of jail, minimal guidance from his dad, mainly from my Pop, but eventually he got it together. Jump back to the top and I spent A LOT of time with my grandparents. My dad showed his love by spending time and, yup, you guessed it, money. Little does he know I remember the time the most. My dad taught me how to drive, he attended every band performance, dance recital, oratorical contest and parent teacher conference. He bought me pads and purses. Sneakers and dresses. He took me on movie dates, dinner dates, shopping sprees. He took me to my first concert! I saw NSYNC in a brand new Guess set with bright blue Keds. My dad was THERE. But he was never THERE. We talked but looking back it wasn't about much. For a while when I was growing up I was so BITTER. All the boys around me thought my dad was the coolest. He picked me up from school often in his big black Ford. He cooled off a lot after his last visit to prison but he always had a little hood in him. His presence was intimidating. His decisions were often based on his past and not his present. I felt like people thought they knew but they had NO idea. But I love him in spite of it all.
          As I grew older I realized that my expectations for my dad we based on society's views not the reality of the situation. I mean really, at age 13 who can say, "my dad never had a dad but he's trying the best he can!" At age 25 I can say that but at age 13 I couldn't. As I grew older my relationship with my dad strengthened and I began to understand things better. My dad was the best dad he could be IN SPITE OF IT ALL.
Me &My Dad after my Great Grandfather passed away.

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