Today is June 17, 2018 and nationally celebrated as Father’s Day. Years past, I avoided this day. It was filled with doom and gloom for me. All of my life, and I’m 42 years young, I’ve yearned for a father. Not one that came around sparingly or whose phone never dialed my number. Not one who put very little effort to reach out to me, and the only time we connected was when I initiated it. I dedicated so much time to honor and respect the man who played a role in my conception. So many years calling and visiting… every holiday, birthday, Father’s day, in between days, just because days, to hear his laugh, to hear his jokes, just to be present with the man who was chosen to be my father. Two years ago, my world changed and he broke my heart in the deepest way. Now, I find myself sitting at the cross of forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation. The pain is still fresh though.. And I will check back in with my heart after God’s forgiving love has done its magic.
BUT THERE IS A MAN… that has never let me down. Never disappointed me. Never hurt me. Never lied to me. Never turned his back on me. And let me be real, I’d given him every right to! I was so mean to him when we first met. I was skeptical of how genuine he was. You see, I was a broken child. I grew up watching every man my mother married before physically, verbally and emotionally abuse her and her children. So this one… immediately I was on defense. But he loved me through it. He never EVER changed his character to shrink to my pain. But he loved me and my sisters through the pain of our past rejections. And he warmed his way straight to my heart.
That man is my Pops: Mr. Albert Harris! He married my mother and he promised to love and care for her and her children (all five of us). When I tell you that he will fight you for Martha, TeResa, Jamie, Katrina, Josie and Sherika?!!!! Honey, you know the charge (in my Pops voice)! And when I met his mother, I knew exactly where his heart came from. Let me explain.
God called two of my favorite people in the entire world home some years ago. Those two (pictured below) are my grandparents, Minnie Lee and Virgil O’Neal (affectionately known as V.O.). These two angels were the most loving, kind, and tenderhearted people on earth. They loved any and everyone without judgment. They didn’t agree with our decisions, but they never turned us away. They would give us the shirts off of their backs, which they often did. So when God called them to be with Him, it left a huge hole in our family that I call the Abyss.
But then He, as only God can do, sent us a healing balm in Pops and his mother (pictured below). His mother has the same spirit as my grandmother and Pops, even though he’s the son, has the same spirit as my grandfather. They both came into our family as if they belonged and had been here before. They filled the hole of pain and loss, and they love on us as if we were their blood. I guess, in so many ways, we are blood family.
So, today is a little different for me. I grieve the loss of the idea of what my relationship was with my biological father and accept the new relationship that only God can heal and mend.
But I am ever so grateful to the one man God sent to heal me in more ways that I could ever imagine! He calls me “Baby Girl”, and I call him, “Pops”. We often meet together for early morning coffee and smoke and laughs —whether we are in the same state or far apart. I love this man so much! I’m actually in tears right now as I write, because God answered my prayer. I asked God in private to heal my mother. He did that and so much more. He sent her a man who makes her laugh every single day, and every single night before she goes to sleep. He sent her a man that grinds along side of her. He sent her a man who loves God like none other. He sent her a man who loves and accept her children (and we are a handful!!!). He sent her a man… a real man.
So Pops, I wrote this letter to you that I’d been holding on to for a couple of months now. I wanted to make a mark in this world, let it be publicly known, that you were built as a saving grace to my family. We all have hope because of you. We all have the opportunity to heal because of you. You show us how a real man should treat a woman. And for that, sir, I honor you. I love you. And, as you always say, YOU KNOW THE CHARGE!!
Your Baby Girl
Founder, Matters of My Heart, LLC
Blog website: www.mattersofmyheart.com
Publishing website: www.jaitheauthor.com
“My past does not define me, it refines me.”
Family has a whole new meaning to us now that we have been delivered from the abuse and pain of our past. If you want to read about our story and how God has healed us, we wrote about it in The Frazier Chronicles: Stories Untold: Finding Peace After Pain.