I'm told that my daddy was afraid to hold me when I was born. This is funny because I was his 7th child. My mama says his complaint was that when you hold a baby, their head goes one way and the arms another. Too wobbly for him, too delicate. My mother fixed this by handing me over and saying she was going to the bathroom. She simply didn't entertain his antics. Amazingly, he coped and managed not to drop me.
Years later, he'd tell me that I was bought from Lawrence's Baby Store. Apparently I was the cutest lil' brown baby in the window and he knew he had to bring me home. My mother and I still joke about my beginnings and what either of us would do if we ever came across Lawrence's Baby Store. I'm hoping, they still have cute brown babies there, as I plan to purchase a few for myself in a few years.
I have never talked about my father or our relationship to anyone. It's not that its too hard or emotionally stressing. It just a part of my history that I have compartmentalized and kept for me and me alone. The fact that I'm even writing this blog is somewhat of an accomplishment. There are some things concerning him I may never tell. These are not necessarily bad but sacred to me and as a result I keep them close to the chest.
Despite having a photographic memory of everything that took place the night my father transitioned, I most often think of one of our last conversations. We were sitting on the front porch of my mama's house and I remember asking him if he'd been to college. My father was a pastor and he had indeed gone to theology school. I wanted to know if he had to write papers and if they had to be long. Only God knows why my 11 year old mind was worried already about college essays!
So I asked, "Daddy how long was your paper?"
He replied, "Too long for that teacher to be puttin' all those red marks through it!"
This still makes me laugh! I didn't really understand then but its ALL I thought about every time I wrote a paper in graduate school.
Father's Day has met me several ways. Sometimes I'm reflective, like now. Sometimes I forget entirely. I'm rarely emotional but it has happened. The way people make post and tributes to their fathers on social media always makes me feel weird. It's like they forget that some of us live only with memories. There are some who live with memories they'd rather forget. While others, operate with a fantasy of what life would have been like had they even known their father.
Some years ago, I wrote my daddy a poem. (I'm always writing to loved ones who have transitioned. Words operate in the supernatural; knowing no place or time.) Dabbing into calculus, I thought us both to be tangent lines crossing through the curve of life. Time, being infinite, would prove that our two points would cross again. And I believe it to be so. As for me and my daddy, our two points shall cross again.
Kanika: Poet. Lover of Words. One who tells the stories of the mundane and inanimate. Bearer of Light, Water, and Sky.