One of the hardest things that I’ve had the displeasure of going through is the passing of my father. I know there are plenty of young girls and even women in their 50s and 60s who still consider themselves to be a Daddy’s Girl. They have a different hold on your heart that when taken away, unexpectedly or at all for that matter, leaves a huge ugly scar. I don’t think I will ever heal from losing him. This isn’t one of those ‘time heals all’ situations; my world as I knew it shattered right before my eyes with me standing there in the center of it all watching the sky cave in on me.
Like most girls I’ve planned out my wedding day pretty much to the T. I daydream about my future children and the type of mother and wife I will be one day. I can envision my future condo or house (still haven’t fully committed to where I’m going to live just yet but I have both options mapped out, lol). In my eyes my family was their very own version of The Cosby’s, we were slightly better though because there were still fights, drama and excessive but monitored drinking at just about every family function. Bringing in that element of surprise, you just never know with us. We were the Alexanders, La Costra Nostra.
Growing up I knew how blessed I was to have them as my kin because I had friends who lived a completely different life than anything I was exposed to, and that was their norm. The only real piece that was missing from this world of mine was finding the right partner. Till this day I have no idea why I thought that would be the easy part. It’s like trying to walk up a hill backwards with cement blocks tied to your ankles and someone else pushing you Back down the hill. Damn near Impossible! Once a man became comfortable enough with the fact that I am the type of girlfriend to literally give you my last and will put your needs before mine, they would change on me. All of the nice, sweet things done in the beginning of the relationship would fade; resulting in son/boyfriends who now feel entitled to my money or me doing things for them without having to return the favor.
Which of course meant a ton of heartbreak for me because having those half and half’s(son/bfs) meant they expected to be put on a pedestal yet had no intentions of putting me on one. I’m not the type of woman who needs a man to provide for her, I can hold my own but to be catered to every now and then would light up my life!! Come home to some flowers, an already planned date night with him sitting there dressed nicely ready to take his woman out, holding my hand in public, any type of public affection gives me chills just thinking about it or simply the security of knowing I can trust you with my most vulnerable feelings and you’ll do whatever to ensure I don’t get hurt. I don’t feel as though those things are complicated but it seems to be foreign in my relationships. Once they became comfortable in their seat I was expected to shine shoes and wait hand and foot.
This has been the case for yearsssss and it has always bothered me that I haven’t received the same love that I put out. I’ve been in a lot of situations where my feelings were completely disregarded or I was played and publicly humiliated. But the blow didn’t hurt AS bad as it should have because I still had that one man in my life that would do no such thing. I still had that one man who thought I was capable of Anything; my grades weren’t the best in high school and going to a great college wasn’t really in my view but according to him I was giving Michelle Obama a run for her money. He believed in me. No matter how dramatic or out of line he might have felt I was being. He was there to show me no matter what I might be feeling we will feel together. I didn’t have to experience life alone. I didn’t have to encounter these men trying to game me, alone. When I hurt, he was crushed. Most times I truly don’t think it was because he was my father, he knew my Heart. He knew that I was trying to recreate the love he has for my mother and that my grandparents had for one another. We had an unspoken understanding that I knew he wouldn’t be here for me forever and I was looking for someone to fill his shoes. To protect my heart and lift me up. Not realizing they aren’t meant to be filled. Can you imagine as my father (and my mother) to hear how unhappy I am with the way that I look because some boy I love spent his day making fun of me. To watch me bawl for hours upon hours because no one is treating me good; to leave my house with high hopes and come home distraught cause I was set up by “friends” for blind dates that turned into a ‘how ugly or sickly do u think Amber is’ debate. Not being able to get out of bed for days because I’m so overwhelmed by it all and can’t place my finger on one good thing. Wishing I didn’t exist At All, that way I wouldn’t be in other people’s way. Shit has been REAL for me! But he never stopped holding me up; even when I had nothing left.
So you can imagine my reaction 9am, March 10th 2014 when I got to work and received a phone call from the hospital about my father who passed out and my mother who is too ‘out of it’ to handle the situation. That one sentence alone told me something Terrible happened. My mother is the strongest being I know. Men and women included. When it comes down to her personal business or her family she plays zero games and will blow shit up if need be to get accurate results. To know something happened with my dad, and she isn’t in a good state of mind I immediately panicked; if she can’t handle what happened how the hell am I supposed to? Is all I could think at the time. After what felt like forever getting to the hospital I show up with my boyfriend looking for Tom Alexander. Once nurses and a doctor found their way to me and escorted me to a private room without explaining where the hell he was, I knew it was serious. I open the door to see half of my family there with bloodshot eyes, I can’t remember who said it but the voice echoed “he’s gone”.
I can’t even describe what I felt well enough so that you all can truly get it. I swear to you, that entire room began to spin, till this day I can bank on seeing the furniture move. Someone ripped my heart completely out of my chest, slapped me in the head with a hammer and I was on the verge of throwing up everything I had eaten in the past week. There’s NO FUCKING WAY! is the basis of what was able to come out. I literally just said “Goodnight. I love you!” to him at 11:32pm the night before. We joked a little bit before that.
The hardest part about life is knowing that you can never plan what’s going to happen. He’s never going to walk me down the aisle; he will never meet my children or give me advice. He won’t lecture my son about the importance of being a Black Man. He’s just not going to be there the way I thought. I received my Bachelor’s degree last year (something I wasn’t always positive would happen) and he wasn’t in the audience to scream out MYYYCCEEEEEEEE!! (the nickname he gave me as a child, lord knows how he came up with it, lol!) In the blink of an eye your entire world can change. MY entire world changed. I have heard ‘oh he’s still with you, he’ll always be with you’ one time too many. Nothing compares to the physical. He was the only man to accept me and love me without a doubt.
Being honest with you all, I’m afraid of how hurt I will get now. I’m afraid I won’t be strong enough to protect myself from the things done to me now and in the future. I still have my mother who will go to war for me, yes! But my father guarded her heart also. He was HER love. So we’re both broken right now. I’m afraid he was the one and only man to see the good in me and want to cherish and protect it. I haven’t had the greatest life experiences so I’m scared of what’s to come.
Again….this isn’t one of those time heals all wounds situations. I am legit broken; in so many pieces it can’t be put back together. The pain of losing a parent isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy. But, I’m taking it day by day and praying for the best knowing I have a guardian angel watching over me.
This post is for the Daddy’s Girls, the ones who know how deep that love goes no matter what his flaws or yours might be. For the girls who, no matter how old they might be still curl up into his arms or his lap for protection. The ones who know the power behind hearing his voice tell you “it’s gonna be Alright, I’m here”.
This post is for my Dad. I love you Pop, forever and always!