I never knew my Dad. Actually, I never met him but he met me. You see, I was adopted. My Dad never had a say in this adoption. I wonder if he knew he could have a say. It was 1959, the girl was 15, her Daddy was a pastor at the Black church, it was the South and the boy knew only to stay away.
They, who knew the story of my birth, told me my Dad stood at the window while my Mom pushed me out. In the country , black babies are delivered by a midwife in a grey wooden house, with one window, no back door, way back in the woods, where no one will hear the teenage mamas’s screams. They tell me my Mom passed out from the pain. My Dad stood looking in the window and the adults brushing him away, telling him to move now, he had no business there.
The other story is that my Dad found me, so they say. I believe them. They say I was about five or six years old, riding my tricycle in our front yard. It’s interesting that my adopted family was only twenty mies away from the grey wooden house with the one window, where the teenage mamas scream. They say my Dad drove in our yard, got out of his car, walks towards me, looks down at me and ask, “Do you know who I am?”. I guess I said no. In my mind, I can imagine seeing this tall, elegant black strong man, smiling at me with glistening teeth, a brightness in his eyes. This moment had to be so special for him. The man says back to me, “Well, I am your big brother.” They say I just rode away on my tricycle and my Dad got back in his car and drove away.
I hold on to these stories. I am so grateful that no one pushed my Dad away when he drove up in our yard to see me and speak to me, if only for a few minutes. I can only imagine how nervous he was and how grateful he was that no one stopped him from approaching me. I really wished I knew my Dad. He died. The last story they tell me was horrible. My Dad was killed by a police officer. I hold on to this story too. I wonder before he was killed by that officer, if he knew he had a say and if he used his voice to scream out, “I have a daughter who likes to ride her tricycle!”
I love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day.
Be Well My Friends,