Thursday, June 18, 2009

Power of Love: A Father's Day Message

This weekend I cried baby boo hoo tears, I mean the kind of tears you cry when you have that toothache that doesn't want to go away or the kind you cry after the passing of a loved one. And I couldn't stop them, because scene after scene I could feel the pain, torment and love Will Smith had for his son while facing a long, hard journey in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness." Having never been a mother of anything other than a couple of cats when I was a kid I've never truly understood the bond that parents feel for their children yet I found myself not only appreciating, but respecting that bond this weekend. And, I held my candle high for the efforts and sacrifices that fathers make every day, all, in, the name of love. All too often we hear about the sacrifices of single mothers, those who have been forced to raise their children on their own. But rarely, do we hear the stories of men, especially black men, who stop at nothing to make sure that their children are fed. They work 2-3 jobs to pay for rent, bills, and food. They hustle up and down gang infested streets all hours of the night. They are our doctors, lawyers, teachers, poets, business men, athletes,janitors, construction workers, service techs, pastors, rappers, musicians and so many other men in between. But, each of them, share a common thread; the love, they have, for their kids. As I sat back and watched this movie, I witnessed a man who loss everything, his wife, his pride, even his home. But never, ever, did he lose the love he had for his son and he maintained that bond even when he didn’t have a dime to his name. He fed him, bathed him, clothed him, cheered him on in his successes and gave him wisdom that would far surpass the face on any dollar bill. He gave him his love, he gave him his presence, and nothing society says, can ever diminish that. No child support check can do it, nor can a pair of Nike shoes. So today, in honor of all fathers thank you for not giving up on us, especially the sons, daughters, nieces, nephews or children on your block or in your schools who may have been abandoned by someone else. You could have walked away, you could have turned your back, but instead you made the choice to simply love us. In dew season, I pray that each and every one of us experience this.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Oh, The Things I Will, Won't Do For Love....

I gotta admit. I’ve never been much of an organized person. Never been the type who hangs her clothes when I come home from work nor do I fold them after pulling them from the dryer. I don’t walk around with a list of daily do’s and don’ts. And rarely do I care what’s on my dinner plate. Just so long, as it’s good. That’s just not who I am, never has been, never will be, unless, it comes to choosing a mate.

For the past 20 years I’ve hopelessly struggled to stay true to my needs/wants as it relates to having a successful relationship. But, I often wondered, what’s the point? Men and women are always going to have differences therefore ya gotta roll the dice and take the good with the bad. Yet, even though I’ve held true to this mantra I still find myself changing my requirements almost as much as I change my taste in clothes.

I’ve watched them dwindle from a thesis, to a one page synopsis, all the way down to the length of a gas receipt. And while much of what I desired in my twenties still holds true in my forties, some of those qualities have slowly began to fade. Therefore, all that I have left is a list of “Things, I will, won’t do, for love.”

And so we begin…..

The Will’s

1.I will date a man with all of his teeth (minus the gold plates)
2.I will date a man whose stomach is bigger than mine (as long as it’s chiseled)
3.I will date a man with a less than perfect car (as long as it’s not his momma’s)
4.I will date a man who knows that chivalry is not dead ( I still enjoy having doors open for me even if it is only the bathroom)
5.I will date a man with a bald head ( as long as there’s no bumps on the back of his neck)

The Won’ts

1.I won’t date a man who’s cheap (in other words…frugal).
2.I won’t date a man who smokes (something about the smell annoys me)
3.I won’t date a man with more chest hair than me (bad experience, he had breasts)
4.I won’t date a man with kids (unless they’re from the same mother)
5.And finally, I won’t date for the sake of dating; I’m looking for my husband.

Generally speaking, this list idea has worked for me right up until my fairy love mother comes in to punish me for my sudden memory lapse. In other words, I tend to flip flop often, only to be stuck dating men I have no business with. And yet, I still long for that special someone the kind with the sense of humor, and pick-up lines don’t count. Or the kind who offers meaningful conversation that doesn’t include what he just ate for lunch. For those of us who still believe in the power of “the almighty list”, fairy god mother’s, fables, and knights in shining armor, all we really mean, and what we really need is…love. Or, at least that’s what I think I need. Oh well, perhaps I need another list to figure out the things I will…won’t do…for love, once and for all. In dew season, I’ll probably get it right.