So today is year three.
Three years since Daddy left us. Many don’t know my story, not even close friends but I’ve been wanting to share this for quite some time.
My parents divorced before I was two. I’m not sure when he actually left our lives because it’s something my Mother never talked about (trust me, this was a GREAT thing), but my 1st time meeting him was my freshman year of college.
One of the best things about living in Tallahassee was that I was now only two hours away from my favorite aunt. I remember her calling me asking if I wanted to ride with her to New Orleans for the holidays….of course!! My 1st time AND I get to meet family I’ve never met before….hell YEAH!! So we’re taking this drive and she says “we’re gonna spend the night in Mobile with family and leave for New Orleans in the morning.”
Nowwwwwwwww, anybody who knows me KNOWS Sherri don’t phuck with the deep south. No suh! Not no Alabama! But sigh….it’s Aunt Rita, HOW can I say no?! Damnit. So I’m really not feeling this. Lol. Then I meet these people and they’re sweet as pie but yeah….I don’t eat this kinda food, not familiar with this culture and it’s just too damn cold!!
She gets a call that Daddy is in a rehab center not too far away. “Do you wanna see ya Daddy,” she asks. Inside I’m like “YASSSSSSSSSSSS” but the very guarded me gives an unsure “okay…?” I’m 19. Never met this man and here I’m meeting him without my Mother or sister, in a rehab facility. I’m very uneasy. What do I say? How do I act? What if…….all these thoughts were going through my mind but I’m playing it cool.
I see him. Now, I’ve seen pictures but GOT DAMN, THIS IS MY TWIN! I’m instantly in love. He is me and I am him! But, I’m socially awkward (well was)….so a hey and a hug is what he gets. We didn’t talk much, he and Aunt Rita did a lot of catching up and I remember sitting there happy as hell (in the inside, but this emotion didn’t show) soaking this moment in and anxious to tell my sister!
So as we leave, he gives me this promise that he’s going to do right and he has a lot of making up to do. Honestly, at 19, I was like “bruh, it’s too late” but there was something genuine about what he said, so I rolled with it.
Get back to the house we were staying at and EVERY soul in that house had questions! And I’m like I DON’T KNOW YOU PEOPLE! lol
Anywho, we leave for the morning to head to NO. Meet my Aunt and cousins for the first time and I’m in loveee! They’re fun, free spirited and just full of love! That visit opened the door for years of genuine love and bonding. Til this day, people think I grew up with that side of the family, I’m obsessed with em!
So I settle back into my dorm and Daddy’s doing GREAT with this reconnection! It just flowed. It took me a while to call him Daddy (I would just start talking to him directly) but after visits to New Orleans with him and the fam, it later became natural.
As I’m writing this, I’m reflecting back to how guarded I was when it came to relationships with men, especially Nigel. If y’all don’t listen to anything else I say, PLEASE listen to this: A FATHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP IS IMPORTANT. As I read blogs, videos, posts etc all over social media, I recognize the hurt a lot of women are experiencing but refuse to acknowledge. That “I came out just fine” statement women say when speaking about their absent father, don’t buy it! I didn’t even realize how phucked up I was emotionally until I established a relationship with my Father. And it wasn’t until then that my love for Nigel strengthened and actually showed. I became a better person. I started to open up to others more, I became more receptive to love, hugs, crying (this is a GREAT detox btw); I was open to forgiving more and giving second chances. I was a nicer Sherri. More loving Sherri. Like, if beautiful had a face, it was me when I was around Daddy. People would see my family and never even knew our relationship started when I was 19. We had a “Daddy been here since day 1” relationship. There were no “but you did this, you did that” animosity, just genuine Father/Daughter LOVE.
Then we got that call. Cancer. Ughhhhh. But we get a 2nd chance and it’s Great; Universe, how could you?!! H O W?!
The Sherri I was before, I became that Sherri again. My heart was broken. I was living every day not knowing when it’ll be the last day. Then that [other] call came. I remember my cousin saying the Nurse just said she doubt he’ll make it through the night so talk to him, he can’t talk back but he can hear you.
Daddy……..job well done! I don’t care what anyone has to say about your past, JOB WELL DONE! I remember telling him this and that he can go, we’re at peace. A few minutes later, we got the final call. Father’s Day. June 15, 2014. Right after the Heat lost the championship. Sigh. That was one depressing night. But that night was the first time in months I finally slept. In a dream, I saw his mother and grandmother take him after he told me “I wasn’t there for you growing up, but I’ll always be with you from here on out.” That gave me peace.
That was the TOUGHEST thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I cried, I yelled, I shut down, I cussed people out; I was just a phucking mess! I went back to the old Sherri. My family was my only peace.
Then I remembered that initial meeting in Mobile. And I reflect back on how I felt when I had my Daddy. And I’d replay the dreams back in my head, his encouraging words and how he’d constantly tell me to never stop being me. And peace would find me and comfort me.
I said all of this to say: GIVE THAT SECOND CHANCE. Mother or Father, extend that olive branch. Many of us are hurting. We haven’t healed from the abandonment and we’re trying to move forward in relationships but don’t know how to properly love because we were never given the love from the ones who were supposed to love us first. Heal. If you’re a Father who’s afraid to reach out, you’re doing yourself and your child an injustice. Make that call. Take that visit. Reach out and make it count!
This day is usually HARD! The days leading up to today is just ‘ughhhhh’ but today? Today I was alright! I felt my energy shifting a few days prior and I was like “look here Daddy, give me some good vibes! I wanna laugh and be happy, send some good energy!” Today, I was at peace. Today was a good day! 💕
The best gift my Mother ever gave me, was the friendship she gave my Father.
Make that second chance count!