My Future, A Gift From The Past
Just like the Brady Bunch. The mat in front of the door, “welcome”, glittering light from the chandelier peeping through the glass panels aside the door. Ring the doorbell. Inside lived the dream. It was my uncle’s house: he, his beautiful wife, her two daughters, his son, were a perfect blend. The recently built mini-mansion smelled of fresh paint, carpet, pizza and love. The occasion for our family gathering there was the Super Bowl. Everyone was on their toes about the close game, in a happy angst at the potential of winning money or losing it. But I was alone, with my thoughts, in a crowded room of people, reflecting, and recollecting.
My uncle had my cousin (his son) at an early age; I remember my uncle working day in and day out to properly provided for the little infant child that had his smile. Every Christmas it seemed as if he brought the whole toy story to my granny’s living room, boxes marked “To: Jaylen, From: your number one fan…Dad”. I had gifts of my own of course, but it was knowing that he had not had a good night’s sleep in over a month, and now all the rewards from his hard work were concealed in candy cane patterned paper, and seeing his drowsy eyes light up for the first time in so long after my cousin exposed every action figure from under the wrapping paper, that I realized I was not complete. There was a piece to my life’s puzzle that was not yet in its place. The phone rang and ‘missing piece’ was on the other end.
My own father I also adore.
I’ve discovered that I mostly love his potential, for all the things that he could be, not always for what he is. It wasn’t the distance that bothered me, or the marriage that never existed between he and my mother, the holiday phone calls, or his basketball hands that were too big for me to hold. It was that look in his eyes that I wanted so badly to see. I would stop at nothing to get it. My talents were endless, and I...