A Happy Father’s Day to all of the good fathers, step fathers, father figures, foster father, mentors and the like who have taken the responsibility to raise, cultivate and educate children so they become well rounded, contributing men and women in life. This is the first Father’s Day post for Smooth Vintage (woohoo) and we decided to not put together a list as to why dads are great, influential and so on. Or even what gifts would be suitable for the type of dad you have. Instead we decided to share, with permission, an inspiring and touching story of one photo. A photo that brought reassurance and closure to somone and really brought home the importance of having a father around:
This is a picture of my father and my grandmother. It was taken in December of 1989. At the time, he had no idea that he had an eight-year-old son living in North Jersey. He died in 2002, without ever knowing I existed.
I spent my entire childhood wondering things about my father: What does he look like? Is he smart? Is he tall? What does his voice sound like? What if we met? Would he accept his Black son? In 2006, thanks to the Internet and an online genealogy database maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was able to find out some basic information, including that he died a few years earlier. I reached out to his uncle, and a few weeks later his niece contacted me to let me know some information about his health history she thought I should know. She was understandably skeptical, and did not seem like she wanted to take any steps toward building a relationship. I did not expect to hear from any of my father’s family ever again. So I was pleasantly surprised when my father’s aunt sent me a graduation card in 2008, along with this picture. For the first time, I saw what my father looked like. It is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.
This isn’t a sob story. My life is fantastic, and I have been fortunate enough to have some great father figures in my life, liked Donald Dyson. But on this Father’s Day, I just wanted to remind everyone not to take your relationships with your fathers for granted. Because some of us only have a picture.