My mother taught me how to make a living.
My father showed me how to create a life to live.
She was deemed responsible.
He was deemed selfish.
… I want to be selfishly responsible from here on out.
“How dare I resent the man who taught me how to pray when I know people who never had a father in the first place, so thank you.”
“My papa was never a rolling stone / my papa’s a firm rock that stayed in our home.”
“I was raised on stories of return and that hope is still alive in my father’s eyes.”
“I had fears of picking up my son, I thought my hands were too rough and I would scratch him but my fears had to go.”
“He was happy to be no quite happy, happy enough for his daughters so that they could have a life with more opportunities than his had full bellies.”
My younger brother hadn’t heard from his father in a few months. But this is not unusual for their relationship as they could go months on end without talking. They had a unique way of communicating. They usually communicated through other people in the streets, “Have you seen my Dad around lately?” or “I saw your father he told me to tell you to come by and see him.” Well, the fall of 2013, my brother had been asking around about his father for a few months and everyone continued to tell him, “no, I haven’t seen your Pops.” Christmas morning of 2013, after the kids opened their gifts and everyone enjoyed a light breakfast, my brother said he was physically moved to go to his laptop and type the words, “homicides in Kansas City” to do a search for his father’s name. I imagine he held his breath as he waited to be satisfied that this intuitive notion was simply a crazy thought. However, the search was conclusive, September 16th his father had been murdered.
My brother was screaming in the phone. I haven’t heard him scream since he was a young boy perhaps frightened by a spider. The sound of this chilled me to my bones. A piercing baritone is not melodic. It shatters the musical science of healing and bends wavelengths. My breath sat in my throat. His father was stabbed in September and died a few weeks later in early October. A search for funeral services or posted obituaries turned up nothing. See, his father was a loner, a rolling stone. The online documentation stated he was stabbed several times in the chest and once in the heart during an argument on 39th and Main. My brother was flattened at the thought that his father probably went into surgery and never gained consciousness to give the name of a next of kin. He died alone. My brother’s Christmas turned into Memorial Day.
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