While watching an episode of Queen Sugar, I had such an emotional wave hit me. It was the episode where Darla reunites with her parents for the first time since recovering from drug addiction. Her son, Blue, asks his Pop, Ralph Angel, why he hasn’t met his grandparents before. Why have they never come around? What do I call them? When he finally was introduced to them, his grandmother asked for a hug, but he gave his grandfather a hug without being asked. These moments sent me into an emotion overload. To see him embrace his never before seen grandfather the way he did with such innocence and care only made me think about the questions my son will have one day about his grandfather…my daddy.
I never got to meet either of my grandfathers growing up. One passed before I was born, and the other passed 3 days after I was born. My daddy was very much in my life growing up. He was there for easter speeches, softball games, cheerleading, gymnastics, piano lessons, you name it. I am here to say, even after eleven years, the pain of such a loss does not go away. To process and deal with unanswered questions and unspoken words with the first man you ever loved is something I never thought I would face in life. My father wasn’t deathly ill, one morning, he was suddenly gone. I was nowhere near prepared, and the only thing I had the day I found out was a voicemail from him asking me to return his call. He just wanted to check on me and see how I was doing. I was so caught up in college, sorority, and just being a 20 year old that I missed his call and just took it for granted that I would have an opportunity to call him back when I got time. I kept that voicemail as long as I could till I realized I had to find closure in what had transpired. I could not keep holding on to what if scenarios and beating myself up about not being there when he wanted to talk to me. He knew I loved him and it’s ok if he didn’t hear me say it. He knew I was always his cheerleader, and I had never given up on him. I had to let go and let God. Nothing else could fill that hole in my heart but God. My heavenly Father and earthly Father were now together watching over me and looking after me.
Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t have my days or moments. Every milestone in my life comes with the feeling that I wish he was here to see it or celebrate with me. His birthday and the day he left will always bring a hint of sadness and remembrance on the good times and laughs. But I have to be prepared for that day my son asks me about his granddaddy. I want to be able to share with him how great my daddy was to me. I feel like pictures just won’t do it justice. I wish there was something more I could give, but I pray that my son feels the words and heartfelt emotion behind everything pertaining to my daddy and his impact on my life.
In this moment, Beyonce’s “Heaven” came to me and the words spoke so eloquently to my feelings.
R.I.H. Willis Clifford Yarbrough February 22, 1956 – March 28, 2007