This will likely be one of the most transparent pieces that I’ve ever written. Most of you all know that I typically don’t discuss my personal life online- especially my family. But last week there was a major shift with my family dynamics.
Not many people knew that my dad had been incarcerated for the past 18 years of my life. But last week he became a free man. It was powerful. No longer were we limited by the time constraints of “visitation.” No longer were we interrupted with the reminder of “you have sixty seconds remaining” before we were rushed to wrap up our conversation, say our “love yous” and goodbyes. As a family, we were finally free.
Now don’t get me wrong, though he was incarcerated, he wasn’t emotionally, mentally or spiritually absent from my life. He and I have eighteen years worth of phone call and letter exchanges. I have them all. Not only are there letters, there are handmade birthday cards, comic strips, quotes, scriptures and also (one time) a hand braided ankh.
My dad has always strived to make our relationship normal. he has always been a constant reminder of how beautiful, independent and strong I am. And there hasn’t been any wrong that I can do (in his eyes of course). He has allows cheered me on to continue “doing your thing, ” whatever it is at the time. He has fully supported all of my endeavors and constantly reminds me to be treated like nothing less than royalty.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone that has extended their love and support as my dad transitions back into society. SO much has changed since 2001. Technology. Social media. Social norms. So one can understand how overwhelming it can be. He’s learning.
I can’t express how grateful that I am to have my dads physical presence in my life and it is a privilege that I will NEVER take for granted.
In 18 years…..
You’ve never missed a birthday, graduation, Christmas, Valentines Day nor Easter despite your physical absence
For 18 years…..
I have vowed that you would be the only man in my life that I would hold down while he was locked down. I have honored it.
After 18 years…..
Welcome home Dad