17 June, 2012

For Sentimental Reasons...

(1965 Townsmen Club of Wilmington, NC Royce D. Rhodes, Sr 3rd from the right.)

Father's Day is one of those days that makes me smile my biggest and happiest.

After my mom passed, my brother and I lived with my father's parents: Mr & Mrs. Royce and Virgie Rhodes, Sr.  My grandfather and I always had a special bond.  From what I was told, it was from birth.  You see my grandfather was born Feb 14, 1914 (Valentines Day for those who do not recognize the date) and I was born Feb 7, 1973.  My grandfather would tell me periodically through my life that I was his early birthday/valentines gift and thusly called me "my sweet".

I can not remember a time in my life when I was not captivated by the quiet strength that my grandfather always exemplified.  He was not a loud man, a braggart, or arrogant man.  He was a modest, reserved and yet a very matter of fact man. A true gentleman.  Debonair, if I had to choose one word.  When he spoke - it was for reason and not trivialness.  To me it was like I had my very own Black King Arthur, LOL!! Nat King Cole was his favorite singer and Jeopardy was his favorite TV show.

My grandfather walked the walk -- and NOT talked the talk.  He showed me how a man should really treat and love a woman through his interaction not only with my grandmother and myself but all women that came within is contact.  One of the most memorable moments in my life was when he escorted me in the 1989 Delta Sigma Theta Debutante.  He was a proud man, that night...wore his OWN tuxedo.  As we finished our father-daughter dance, he whispered to me "I love you and you have made me proud" it was all I could to keep from crying the rest of the evening.

Chidley Dormitory, North Carolina Central University
Now my daddy on the other hand was LOUD, energetic, and the life of a party.  He knew how to walk into a room and captivate that room in less than 60 seconds.  He should have been a politician!  My daddy could make you laugh until your sides split and make you madder than a hornets nest all in the same sentence.  My father was a man of culture and no limits.  My father was worldly and very confident. My father was what one could say was suave and cool! He would make my brother and I read newspaper articles and tell him a summary of what we read.  He taught us basic spanish at an early age and his favorite shows were Perry Mason and Justin Wilson's Cajun Cooking show "I guar-on-tee"  LOL!!

These two men cut of the same cloth but as different as night & day yet taught me so much about life and men.

Today I salute my grandfather and my father  Royce Dewes Rhodes, Sr and Royce Dewes Rhodes, Jr.  you two are no longer with me in body - but through the values and lessons you taught me I live my life accordingly everyday.  I also, make a point to instill those values into my son.

Not every man - is a dead beat dad.
Not every man - is an abusive husband and father.
Not every man - is an adulterer
Not every man - is a sperm donor
Not every man - is a thug
Not every man - is a ____________(fill in with your own negative statement)

So for sentimental reasons I love these two men so much and I thank God for blessing not just myself but my family and friends with the opportunity to love and be loved by these same men.

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