Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fumbles, Pride, and Purpose

What a month! And you say, “But Dre’ the month just began.” That’s the crazy part! The month just began! As some of you may know from the post on my Twitter and Facebook pages this past weekend God opened the door for me to actually stay with my dad for the first time since my feeble mind was able to store memories. It was very weird at first, but gradually it became easier. It was a short stay, but the time that we spent together really meant a lot to me. My relationship with my dad didn’t really develop until I was 18 and got my own vehicle. I don’t really remember how it all began, but I started driving to see him whenever I could. Before that I have two or three memories of him from my childhood. They were all very weird encounters, at least for me, that left me feeling a since of hope and a since of disappointment all at the same time. One minute I would be on a high because there was a glimpse of what my life could have been like with him in my life and the next minute I felt like I had just missed a layup to win the NBA championship. So close, but no cigar! Over the last 9 years though, the former feeling has been the most common. There has been a since of hope and a powerful understanding of the effect the lack of a father has on a young man who is trying to be a husband and a father himself. This weekend I feel like we had a major breakthrough. For the first time my dad actually got to see me in concert. The next day, even though he didn’t actually say it, I felt him saying that he was proud of me. I could tell that he wanted to say it, but just didn’t know how. I started thinking about how much this situation has not only affected me, but he as well. This is something that he has had to deal with for 27 years. I’m his only child. A son at that. I should be carrying on the name and legacy that he fought so hard to maintain. I should be protected the honor and integrity of something that was passed on to him by my grandfather. But instead the ball got dropped. And it didn’t start with him. Somewhere along the line someone fumbled. Somebody got hit and gave up. I realized this weekend that it is up to me to recover that fumble and continue to run toward the goal. My purpose is to recover what was lost and chase after God’s original plan for my family with reckless abandonment. Ginkies! I think I finally, sort of, almost get it. On Sunday my dad and I sat down and had a long discussion about my family history. As he reared back in his recliner, hands on the top of his head like Heathcliff Huxtable, I could hear and see a since of family pride that had been bestowed upon him by older generations. He went as far back as his paternal and maternal great-grandparents, which are my great-great-grandparents! About a year ago I got the idea to trace my family’s history as well as my wife’s family history. I want my kids to know their history so they can have that same family proud that I saw in my dad’s eyes as he spoke to me. I want them to sit around and listen, eagerly awaiting each word that slips off of my lips as I give them the history of our family. I want them to be blown away as I was when my dad told me my great-great-grandmother lived to be 100 years old and was born into slavery. I’m still blown away not only at the history, but that he knew so much. This weekend opened a door for what I hope will be many more family oriented conversations, as well as conversations about our relationship. One thing that God taught me through everything that happened this weekend was purpose. He made me ask myself a lot of questions and I think I almost, sort of, kind of answered some of them. I’ll share more soon. Thanks for listening!

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