Embracing Me is an opportunity for us to connect with ourselves...learning to embrace the God within. The post that I share with you are very real. The experiences of my life (whether good, bad or indifferent) sought to develop me into a Woman who honors the God that dwells inside of me.

For over 10 years I fought against sharing my life's experiences with the world but I also neglected to fully share my gifts. You may ask why I denied myself to live and the answer is fear! After relinquishing the fear of my own thoughts as well as the thoughts of others I have decided to do and be all that God has ordained. He chose me to share my testimonies through songs, poetry, short stories and encouraging words.

I invite you to travel with me as I journey into yet another fearful place, seeking to please the Father while providing healing, restoration and inspiration as chosen. It is my hope that these words will improve your daily living.

My charge to you: Think Well. Do Well. Speak Well. Be Well. Live Well.

"For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." - Isaiah 55:10-11

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 8

Chapter 8
Daddy's Little Girl

Nothing like the bright sunshine and the great outdoors, except having friends to enjoy it with. I however had no friends because mommy rarely allowed me to go outside. But today she had a visitor; it was the strange man that had been staring at us during the time my father passed away, so she allowed me to sit out front.

I was sitting on the porch steps watching my brother play catch with his friends. Our neighborhood was full of little boys but all the girls were so much older than me, plus, I didn’t feel much like doing what the girls did anyway. I was used to being with my daddy and today, I missed him a lot. Seems it was always my oldest brother with my Aunt Pattie-pooh because she had four daughters but always wanted a son so she looked at my brother like so. My mother always had my baby sister Renee because she was the youngest and looked most like her. My oldest brother Man always had my baby brother Brian, of course because he was a boy.

Crying was not an option as I sat on the steps but I could at least think of my dad in hopes that my day dreaming would help me feel close to him today. My dad used to take me everywhere with him because I was daddy’s little girl. He took me on long walks from one neighborhood to the next and we would stop at the parks in these areas. Daddy would push me so high on the swings that I thought I was going to touch the sky. I would throw my head back, close my eyes and smile. I trusted him. I knew he would keep me safe.

The thing I recall most was when my dad took me to this house that seemed to be in a whole different world. The house was nothing like ours. Yes, it was made of brick outside like ours and attached to other houses but the inside was huge, the steps were made of wood and there was carpet on the floors. Our house was concrete and steel inside but at least my mom kept it clean. This house was junky every time dad and I went to visit. It had a huge kitchen and a separate dining area whereas we had a two-in-one, kitchen and dining room combo.

Each time we visited, we would climb the steep stairs but before we reached the door a petite lady with short hair and small frame would emerge from the other side greeting him with a smile, hug and then a kiss. Somehow, even as young as I was, I knew this was his “other woman”…his girlfriend but I never asked any questions. I was just happy to be with my daddy.

The woman had a daughter who appeared to be about my age. It was actually pretty scary because when I looked at her it was like looking in a mirror. We were about the same complexion, smiled just the same; both wore the same pony tails and had the same love in our eyes for my daddy. Ironically, I believe her name was Tracey. I was slightly taller than her and though we never discussed ages or birthdays for some reason I always thought that she was a little older than me, not much but maybe a few months.

Tracey and I were given a 40 ounce can of beer, told to share it and prompted to sit on the stairs being sure not to move until our parents came back for us. Sometimes we sat just holding the can, looking at one another with questions in our eyes but neither of us bold enough to ask with our lips. Those days of drinking beer with Tracey gave me a strong distaste for it and made me hate seeing women drink beer. In fact, I made a vow with myself at that early age to avoid beer altogether when I grew up.

Eventually our parents would come back and get us, take us into the kitchen and feed us sandwiches. Afterwards my daddy and I would leave. Most times it was pitch black outside so we would walk a ways, then mount a bus or grab a cab to head home. When we arrived at home, LATE, dad reeked of beer, mom would be there waiting with fire in her eyes. I remember one time she asked him where the hell he had been and I blurted out the answer, saying we had just come from daddy’s girlfriend’s house. It didn’t come from a place of mischief, I really don’t know what made me answer but I said it with a smile like I was happy. That couldn’t possibly have made my mother feel like a woman or feel loved. As my dad turned to look at me I felt like a traitor. Actually, I felt like a two-fold traitor, one for being with my dad’s girlfriend AND being happy about it which I knew was wrong for my dad to do and two, for telling on my dad knowing it landed him in hot water. I was sent upstairs and the screaming match ensued.

The next day when I saw dad preparing for our daily outdoor adventure I quickly ran and grabbed my shoes and jacket, rushing back to my father’s side. As I stood beside him with all my normal excursion gear he looked down at me and informed me that I was not able to go with him. I asked him why and then I heard a voice behind me say because I said so. It was mommy. Dad just looked up at her as she glared back almost daring him to say something. I tugged dad’s pants leg and begged him to take me with him. He said he couldn’t this time but promised he would do something special with me when he came back.

As he walked out the door I burst into tears and at this very moment, I was shaken from my daydream with the strange man asking me if I was okay. I had not realized the tears from my daydream actually fell in my reality also. Embarrassed, I quickly wiped my eyes and shook my head, nodding that I was okay. The man patted the top of my head, turned and yelled to my brother, “BALL”. My brother threw it to him and the man told him to go long and then threw the ball back to my brother and his friends. He turned back to me saying be a good girl with a partial smile on his face. I watched him as he walked away and then turned to go inside. My mother was standing in the doorway watching the man walk away also. She opened the door for me and then called for my brother to come in telling both of us to go upstairs and wash up because it was time for dinner.

As I walked up the stairs guilt consumed me. I began feeling like I was the reason my father left and that if I had only kept quiet he would still be with us, I would still be traveling the city with him and he would be alive. I stayed in the bathroom for a while after we washed our hands and splashed water on my face to cover my tears. I held those tears for as long as I could but was no longer able to hold them inside. I didn’t want to upset my mother or have my brother make fun of me. No one cried since the funeral and even then mom was not the one I saw shedding tears and certainly no one discussed my dad’s passing. I needed this moment, I needed my dad. 


To My Daughter:

Before you were brought forth, you were loved. As the prayers flowed and the tears fell, you were loved. On the day of your birth and you showed up, you were loved. As the doctors were working to pull you into this world, you were loved.

Once you were placed in my hands, I realized that I was LOVED! As I saw you had your toes & hands and I knew I was loved. As you started to walk and talk, I knew I was loved. As you began to speak your own thoughts and make your own decisions, I knew I was loved. When you learned to play chess, help with your brother and hugged me with your loving touch, I knew I was loved.

When you started school and it was clear that you had a special gift, I knew you were loved. When you listened and understood all the times I told you that you are # 1 because of the LOVE of God, I knew we were both Loved. As you learned & lived the Love of God, I knew we were Loved.

Life has come full circle and I KNOW THAT GOD LOVED BOTH OF US ALL ALONG. Thank you for being a wonderful daughter. Thank you for loving me, and I certainly thank God I was and am still able to love you. Nothing, not even death can keep me from loving you!

Love You Baby Girl,


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 7

Chapter 7
An Open Heart

One day I was walking down the street with my mom and saw an old man wrapped in dirty blankets. His hair was long and he spelled of a horrible odor as we walked by. For some reason my dad entered my mind. Somehow this man reminded me of my father. It wasn’t that he resembled my dad but the smell was an all too familiar one – that of alcohol. The man reached out and touched my moms arm asking if she had any spare change for him to get some food. Mom pulled her arm away from him and grabbed me with her free hand pulling me along as she hurriedly walked away telling him that she unfortunately could not help.

As I looked back at the man I was filled with grief – sort of made me miss my dad. It made me wonder if my dad had ever stood on the corners like this when he reeked of alcohol. I asked my mom why he was outside laying on the street and she replied that he was homeless. Homeless, I repeated in confusion. She said yes and went on to tell me how he lived on the streets, didn’t have access to food on a regular basis, had no place to wash his body, air or clothing and probably had no family to care for him.

Of course I knew my dad had these things when he was alive but sadness still overwhelmed me at the thought of my dad being homeless and alone. Quite frequently I fantasized about him coming home but at this moment, something beyond grief began to fill me. I was filled with disappointment, anger and frustration. Since I was about age three I remember watching the late night feed the hungry children in Africa commercials but I never fathomed we, America, had a problem feeding and housing our own people. From my three year old perspective, all problems were solvable. With all the resources Americans had, we certainly should all be able to live under one roof without problems, right?

Now actually witnessing homeless people eat out of trash cans, sleep on street benches or cuddled under bridges to protect themselves from the earths sometimes harsh elements of cold, wind and even the sun or hearing of homeless persons dying in the streets brought anguish and discomfort to me. I wondered where their families were and how such things could happen. My body physically throbbed with pain when I thought of the emotional, mental and physical discomforts the homeless encountered daily.

Not a day went by after the encounter with the homeless man that I didn’t consider ways to resolve these problems. One day, not long after seeing the homeless man on the streets, I decided I had the answer to end homelessness and world hunger. Rushing into the kitchen where my mother was seated at the dinner table, I said to her almost out of breath, “Mommy, we should let all the homeless people live with us…AND, we can feed them too.” My mom looked at me with warm eyes, as if she knew my pain, but her mouth uttered, “Stacie, we can’t just bring strangers into our house. Some of them are sick, dirty and we can’t trust anyone. I’m not willing to jeopardize your safety or the safety of your brothers and sisters.”

I stood firmly planted on my legs and looked at my mother with an indescribable disappointment. Her words cut deep into the core of my soul and although I was hurt by her response I continued to plead my case for the hungry and homeless. “Ma, I’m not afraid. They won’t hurt us if we take care of them. They will be grateful just like you tell us to be when you feed us, clean us and give us new clothes. I know we only have a little bit of money and our house is not that big but they can sleep in my bed. I will lie on the floor and I will watch them to be sure they don’t steal. We can find their families and then take them home. Plus, you always make big pots of soup and it’s always left overs for three days. We can share our soup!”

My mom turned away and began to fiddle with the items on the table. In a low grumble my mother said, “Stac, we can’t do that.” Just as I began to respond in a whiny voice, “but ma-meeeee”, my mother turned to me and said, “NO! N-O- and that’s it. Don’t say anything else about it.” I was crushed! I walked away with my head down, tears filling and flowing like rivers from my eyes.

I was disappointed, hurt, angry and just plain sad that people had the means to help others but were just too selfish and afraid to do so. Furthermore, I couldn’t believe my mom was one of the selfish ones. I promised myself that when I grew up I would always keep my doors open without fear or selfishness. All I considered is that it could easily be me without a place to lay my head. I could not begin to imagine the discomforts of being on the streets when temperatures dropped below freezing. Equally, I could not imagine being in Africa with desert like conditions, without water to quench my thirst. Nor could I think of not having food to eat to soothe my grumbling belly. I figured, when I grew up, I would change the world. Of course looking back I see that my mom was clearly trying to protect us but my views remain.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 6

Chapter 6
The Day the Phone Rang

I don’t quite remember how many days went by but I do remember it was early this particular morning. My oldest brother and I were dressed, sitting downstairs in the living room. We had just finished having breakfast. I believe the babies had been up early and were now sleeping. My mom was still in her house clothes, floor length light blue cotton nightgown with a floral robe on top. She was pacing the floor anxiously. My oldest brother and I could read the confusion on one another’s faces. We were actually a little nervous. Mom was typically calm so her behavior had us on pins and needles. We broke our awkward silence, turned to look at each other and I whispered to my brother asking him if he knew what was wrong with mommy. He said she missed dad and was having a hard time taking care of us by herself. That was at least his best guess as the oldest.

As mom walked towards the door, she took long drags on her cigarette, slowly exhaling until the cigarette almost disappeared between her fingers. It was like watching a scary haunted movie where we all knew something bad was about to happen but didn’t know what. Suddenly, the phone rang. We all jumped and then Man and I watched mom wisp towards the kitchen to answer the phone. For some reason we knew the call had something to do with our father. Mom slowly walked towards the living room sofa with the phone in her hand as she listened intently and waved us to get up and go upstairs all in the same motion. As we moved towards the stairs, seemingly in slow motion, Man and I grabbed hands and looked at one another knowing that the news wouldn’t be good.

We reached the top of the stairs, stopped and sat, waiting, hoping to hear something that would give us a clue as to mom’s anxiety. Almost simultaneously my brother and I said daddy died. It was this gut feeling that led us to verbalize what we were thinking. We sat on the steps hugging, almost at the point of tears but never letting a drop fall.

Felt like an eternity before mom called us back downstairs. We eagerly rushed down the stairs and then over to where she sat on the sofa. She looked at us almost blankly; maybe more shock than anything, no true expression written on her face, just distance in her eyes. Even though we knew our guts hadn’t led us astray, anxiety had traded places and we now stood where our mom stood earlier, as we waited for her to say something to break the silence and clue us in. Finally she told us that our daddy died and wouldn’t be coming back home again. We hugged our mom tightly and lay in her arms allowing rivers of silent tears to flow.

The entire week was spent with family, friends and plenty of unfamiliar faces of people professing their love for our father. My siblings and I were shifted from arm to arm and house to house as everyone pitched in to assist my mom while funeral arrangements were being made. A man showed up who looked a lot like my dad except he was taller, thicker and wore a mustache. Along with his mustache a somber look was painted on his face as if he had lost his dog. Seemed to me, every time I looked up he was watching me and my brother. It was weird but I never asked any questions just smiled, kept an eye on my mom and tried not to get in the adults way.

Finally it was time to say our last goodbyes to my dad. We entered the church to find it filled with people, again, most of whom I couldn’t recall seeing before. As we walked down the aisle to the front of the church I remember an older man with glasses. He wore a white robe trimmed in red and held a book in his left hand as his arms dangled by his side. I remember this specifically because he was standing behind a box that held my father. Felt like we were walking forever before we finally reached the front of the church. I don’t remember much more except me and my brother Man sat by my mom in the front pew just watching my dad’s still body. It looked like he was sleeping to me. I kept waiting for him to get up, to scream surprise or something, I mean, he was known for playing cruel and unusual jokes.

As I sat there in the pew beside my mother, my mind drifted back to how my grandmother recently died and we were here in this same church with a different set of folks screaming and crying. These people included my father who as I recall was extremely sad when Grandma Mayme passed away. I thought about how when it was time for her funeral my father sat outside on the car smoking a cigarette looking dazed but when he noticed I was standing there he plucked his cigarette away, blew the smoke in the opposite direction and reached down to pick me up. I was in a frilly laced dress. He told me I looked pretty, pinched my nose and then kissed my cheek. I grabbed both of his cheeks with my tiny little hands and asked him if he was sad. Instead of answering me he asked me if I was sad. With teary eyes I told him I missed grandma and then asked where dead people go. He said to heaven after we bury them. I was confused but didn’t want to keep asking questions, as I could see that talking about this made him upset.

I snapped out of my day dream and was snatched back to reality as the preacher concluded his prayer with Amen, and asked everyone to stand to their feet. The funeral directors came forth to provide instructions and as the man closed the casket another harsh reality almost choked the life from me as I watch my father’s face fade away. My mom stood, tearless.


To My Daughter:

Before you were brought forth, you were loved. As the prayers flowed and the tears fell, you were loved. On the day of your birth, you showed up while your mother was grimacing through the pains of birthing you, still, you were loved. As the doctors were working to pull you into this world, you were loved.

Once you were placed in my arms, I realized that I was LOVED! As I saw you had your toes & hands, I knew I was loved. As you started to walk and talk, I knew I was loved. As you began to speak your own thoughts and make your own decisions, I knew I was loved. When you learned to play chess, help with your brother and hugged me with your loving touch, I knew I was loved.

When you started school and it was clear that you had a special gift, I knew you were loved. When I told you that “you are # 1” only because of the LOVE of God, I knew we were Both Loved. As you learn, live and I watch your tender heart come to life, I know the world is loved and better because you are in it.

Thank you for being a wonderful daughter. Thank you for loving me and I thank God I was able to love you. Nothing, not even death can keep me from loving you!

Love You Baby Girl,


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 5

Chapter 5 
She Never Cried

Late one night during the winter I heard my mom and dad having another argument about him being the man of “HIS” house and how she better start listening to him or else he was leaving. My mom said something to the effect of him not threatening to leave but that if he wanted to leave the door was open. She went on to say that if he tried coming back this time she would not let him in – then came the tussling. I heard dad sort of growl through his teeth saying owwwww, you bit me. My mom said that’s right and imma bite you again if you don’t let me go.

She went on screaming she was sick of his crap, the lying, the cheating – the fights. She said she deserved better. Then I heard mommy whimper saying my dad was hurting her and then there was a thud to the floor and in that moment the whimpering reversed. It sounded as if dad was crying when he asked her why she had to do that. I lay there trying to use my little imagination to figure out what my mother could have possibly done to break free from my dad, knock him to the floor and make him cry. The loud argument faded but the discussion continued as I drifted off to sleep.

When I woke the next morning the house was ironically quiet as we usually wake to chaos. Mom was downstairs, Luther Van Dross was playing softly on the stereo and she was seated at the kitchen table in her floral printed bathrobe and her rugged slippers, coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Somehow I already knew the answer to the question before I asked but I felt compelled to ask anyway. I walked slowly towards my mother’s seat asking her where my dad was and if he was coming back. She looked up at me with tear stained cheeks and simply answered that she didn’t know. I wasn’t sure if the answer was for question one or question two but what I did know is that I most certainly was not the only person in anguish, although, I didn’t quite understand why my mom was sad. I figured she should be happy she didn’t have to fuss and fight with him anymore.

After that day in the kitchen, she was fairly quiet; I never saw her cry again. My aunts stopped by periodically to check on my mother. My aunts tried to get her to leave the house, to go out and have fun but she made many excuses every time. One day, while my aunt was visiting I overheard her say that she received a call from my father and that he was in California. Hearing that excited something in me so I jumped up and moved quickly towards the kitchen. I knew they would tell me it was grown up conversation and to go back into the living room. So in that moment I figured I would simply ask for water so it would not seem as though I were spying. I mean it had been quite a while since I saw or heard from my father – I missed my daddy – not being able to see him or talk to him was killing me.

Just as I entered the kitchen doorway, mom pulled a letter from her pocket and showed it to my aunt. It was from my dad. They went on to discuss the details of the letter never noticing I was standing there. Apparently my father found another woman, was living with her in California and wanted to marry her which meant he would have to divorce my mother. My aunt and mother sat quietly at the kitchen table for hours before my aunt took her leave.


Dear Daughter,

For many years now, I have walked around carrying a heavy load on my shoulders. I have asked myself many times would you, could you have lived a much better life, had I been sober of mind, heart and body. Instead I was addicted to alcohol and could not see the forest for the trees.

Yes, my child I was a drunk! No! I did not drink every day, however, when I did; my goal was to get drunk, escaping my daily realities. Baby girl, every time I did. I saw you watch in confusion.

If you can remember, I believed that I knew it all, but in reality I was turning myself into a living veggie, most of all I was not smart enough to see, or know the pain that I was bringing to your life. What a jerk I was, the people I loved the most were the very same people I brought pain and shame.

The yelling, the fussing and God knows whatever unnecessary behavior I had shown. Many times I should have been home with you and the rest of the family but would find myself drunk with some woman and I could not tell you who they were now. If I could only turn back the hands of time, I would do many things differently. I would be a better man, a better father. There are many things I could write about; however, this is not easy. I wish there were other words I could say, other expressions I could use; but there is no other way to say I am sorry for any pain, shame or scarring I caused you!

With Deep Regret and Heartfelt Apology,


Monday, March 2, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 4

Chapter 4
Time to Run Again

Seems we just settled into our home in Newport News, Virginia, as my father was in the service, when my mother packed me, my two brothers and my baby sister up, returning us to Baltimore. My aunt and grandparents opened their homes to us and after a while, my father encountered issues pertaining to his job and he too moved back home. Not long after living with my grandparent’s did we move into the projects of Westport near Cherry Hill in Baltimore.

Dad had become increasingly hostile. Seems he was angry all the time. When he went into his flailing, yelling and screaming fits, typically my mother escaped quickly, gathering me and my siblings and scuffling us to the nearest family members house. I remember my aunts and uncles would get angry that mom had us out so late at night. They were mostly livid with my dad and would saddle up like lone-rangers to pursue and punish him in the family way.

This particular night, rain beat hard against the window as my siblings and I sat in the living room. We were supposed to be waiting for mom to give us a snack and prepare us for bed but just as she was about to go into the kitchen my father stormed into the house and immediately began slinging all manner of curse words at her. She asked him if he had been drinking and all he could say was it didn't matter. Mom told him to go upstairs and get his self together so she could finish with us and then she would talk to him about whatever had him so angry. He insisted that she stop what she was doing and come upstairs with him at that very moment.

Mom refused so dad came over, grabbed her by her arm and began pushing her towards the stairs. Mommy was screaming telling dad to let her arm go because he was hurting her but he ignored her declaring that she would learn to respect him one way or the other. Mom called for my oldest brother telling him to come to her. I didn't realize then but she was using him as a shield, figuring if dad could only see the look in his sons’ eyes he would cease with his intentions to “teach her a lesson.” Man, my oldest brother, ran over to mom and began pleading with my dad to stop and let her go but dad insisted that he stay in a child’s place and go back to his seat.

I then ran over and grabbed my dad around his leg crying, yelling and asking him to please stop. I’ll never forget that night because it was the night my dad turned to me, grabbed me by my two ponytails, picked me up by them and partially slung me off of his leg. At that moment I was a broken little girl. As far as I could remember in my almost five years of life my dad had never even spanked me but now in a moment he crushed me, not physically but my spirit was far removed. I was daddy’s girl and was unaccustomed to this behavior towards me.

As I sat on the floor crying I remember hearing my baby brother and sister wailing out of fear, Man was yelling at dad demanding he let mommy go as dad pushed her up the stairs. Finally, they were out of sight but we most certainly could hear the cursing and thumping. After a while my mom came downstairs telling me and my brother to grab our rain coats and to hurry before dad came downstairs.

She never really let us get them all the way on as she marched us out the front door urging us to walk faster. When we finally reached the nearest family members home, mom was surprised to see my aunts and uncles were all there playing cards. Aunt Pattie-pooh asked my mother bluntly what was going on, of course using a few choice words. She could clearly tell that mom had been crying and asked if Eddie, my father came home acting a fool again. Mom answered yes and before she could tell them anything further my uncle said he came home violent and drunk didn't he? My mom seemed reluctant to answer but before long the adults remembered that we, the children were standing in the room, dripping from the rain.

Some of the older cousins were called down to tend to the babies and to get us ready for bed. As we headed upstairs the adult voices began to fade, eventually dissipating altogether and I knew they were all headed to my house to whip on my dad. At the time, I didn't realize he was physically abusing my mother because all he ever allowed us to witness was him yelling at her and grabbing her. And I certainly had not considered that even if he was not physically abusive he sure was wearing her out with mental abuse with all the names he called her and all the ways he humiliated her in front of us and often in front of company. I cried myself to sleep with each of these episodes and woke the next morning to him carrying me back to my house with mom by his side pushing the babies in a stroller and Man trailing behind. Every time I would think that was the end of the fighting things grew worse.

One time my father came home so drunk that he must have forgotten my aunts and uncles didn't tolerate his drunken ignorance. My mom, aunts and uncles were in the kitchen when my father came home, smoking weed, loud, and obnoxious, reeking of alcohol, and barking instructions to all in HIS house. He was sure to remind everyone that he was the king of the castle.

The adults were listening to records and pretty much ignoring his ranting. My dad walked over to the stereo and changed the record to something he wanted to hear. My mother told him to stop smoking the weed in the house around us and then she told him to leave the music alone informing him that they were there first. My father began yelling obscenities; again echoing he was the king in his house and if they didn’t like what he was doing, they could all get out.

As my dad went to the sofa, continuing to smoke his marijuana my mom went to the record player and put on Michael Jackson, a record they listened to hours ago but what they all wanted to hear at the moment. My dad jumped up and pushed my mom into the wall. Just as he raised his fist to hit her, my uncle ran into the living room and stood in between my mom and my dad. My uncle told my father to go upstairs and sleep off his drunken high but my father refused. He told my uncle to stay out of his business and then accused my mother of sleeping with my uncle. Uncle Mike retorted that my dad was an A-hole and warned him that if he did not stop with his outlandish behavior he would put him in his place.

Again, my father must have forgotten that my aunts and uncles were not afraid of him and believed in teaching HIM lessons. Dad jumped in my uncles’ face, called him a few names and told him he wasn’t going to do nothing to him. As my dad tried to reach around my uncle to change the record my uncle caught his arm giving him his final warning to calm down. My dad swung at my uncle and missed. My uncle came back with a blow to his nose. I will never forget watching the blood drip from my dad’s face and although I knew my dad was wrong I was really hurt because he was hurt. This highly dramatic man, screamed out that his nose was broken and went staggering up the stairs to clean up the blood muffling something like he’d be back to take care of my uncle.

Just as a daddy’s girl, I climbed the stairs to check on my daddy. He was in his room with the door closed. I knocked lightly. When he didn't answer I opened the door and found him sitting on the roof just outside of his window. He looked back at me, one nostril clogged with blood and the other with a white powdery residue. He had cough syrup in one hand and the remainder of the joint in the other hand. Looking back, my father was either suicidal or trying desperately to escape deep rooted pains. He told me that he didn't want me to see him like that. He even apologized. That was the first and last time I ever heard him apologize for his conduct. I told him I loved him, reached up to hug him as he reached into the window to receive the hug and a soft peck on the cheek from me. He told me he loved me too and that I should go back down stairs with mommy before she came looking for me. I slowly walked towards the door and I remember thinking, is my daddy going to die. I looked back, told him to be careful and to come down soon. He said okay as I walked out the door, closing it behind me. His slight smile is still etched into the fabric of my memory.


Dear Baby Girl,

I want to at this very moment, wrap my arms around your abandoned heart. I want to squeeze you and embrace you and cover you with my pleading love for you. My heart cries for not being the father you need to protect and provide for you. There are no excuses for my failure of not being a father to you, and I cannot retract what I did, nor can I take back what I did not do but if I could, I most certainly would.

I have carried you in my spirit since the day you were conceived. You are the greatest gift I have contributed to the world. I often felt I wasn’t good enough to be that strong figure in your life to teach you and show you the way a man is supposed to be. I was both present and absent from your life but it had nothing to do with your worth. You were and will always be the gem in my heart. God knew I wasn’t the best fit for a father at the time you were born, but he knew you were supposed to be here and he knew you were a beautiful soul, with the strength of a lion. He knew you would have the strength to pull through your circumstances and become who you were created to be in this world, without me.

I know you yearn for me and will always yearn for me to be there throughout your life, but the truth is that God wouldn’t have put this on you if he didn’t already see that you would overcome this. You have carried this burden long enough and it is time for you to release all the pain I have caused you in not being there. I love you more than words could ever express. You are my heart and forever my baby girl.

I pray that God gives you the strength to forgive me, for my failure as a man, so that you can let the anger and the pain diminish for the sake of freeing yourself. My prayer is and always will be that you know you are worth more than all the riches this world could ever offer. You are priceless, my little girl, the love of my life; my heart will continue to love you throughout eternity.

Always Loving You,