When my brother and I were younger my father raised us. “All by his Smokey Lonesome” so to say my mother took off and handed the whole job to my dad! He is one of the most loving men I know. My father is medium build with once red hair now gone white, fair skin and a mustache that is very trimmed up and has worn it longer than I can recall? If you do not know my dad you may be intimidated and if you do know him you may be intimidated, he has always got his arms crossed (if he is standing) if you ask him a question you will get a straight answer, he pulls no stops, he always says what he means and means what he says, my dad has always got his priorities right where they should be even in his early twenties when he was taking care of us by himself (no child support or help from the state). He worked most of the time to put a roof over our head, food on the table and clothes on our backs. To tell you the truth this is not all he done or what my heart goes back to. Among other things that went down in my life without a mom my childhood school years is what I struggle getting over. With help of the Holy Spirit and putting the pen to the grind and age has soften the blows. I will tell you I still have a bit of work to do. As a little girl with course short black hair that the name “fro” was no stranger, along with my dark skin did not make for a “Walk in the Park” going to a bit of a smaller school. My dad would fix my hair the best he could and send me off with love. Their my hell would begin by getting called anyone with a bit of darker skin would be, by the age of nine my vocabulary was no stranger to trash, poor, or nigger, the fact we did not live on the upside of town took a toll on me as well, being asked where my dad shopped or what he did for a living by the time middle school hit, they were also telling me my mother did not want me cause I was so ugly and my dad found me in a garbage can (cause he looked nothing like me). Kids were starting to sit behind me and shoot spit wads in my hair along with rubber bands or anything else small that would get stuck and be amusing for them. This was also the years when kids started putting their hands on me one time I was last as always coming outside, and had something special waiting for me behind the wall, a girl who grabbed me and bashed my head up against the brick. I did push her back to save myself but guess who got in trouble? One time a boy in my younger elementary school years was my friend challenged to fight me after getting off the bus a few throws were thrown but the hurt came from betrayal. There were a few more times where kids in numbers would have a hey day with me and since I got away let me just spare you the details. Kids would blame things on me if someone did something they were not supposed to do in class and teachers believed them? they would also make up names to call someone then blame it on me, one time a girl met me after school and told me to just wait until she was off of school property and she eventually did what she set out to do. Then and even now they remain to be some very sad times for me and one man got me through what I call the trenches of my life. My dad’s love is what shinned a light on some very dark times. He was so good at spending his time off with us it took a load off me. He would take us to the plowed down field across the way and fly kites with us (unravel it real slow sis it will go higher) he would take us to the drive in movies and we would always fall asleep, oh how it wasn’t the movie dad, in the winter he would take us sledding do you remember that steep snowy hill you fell down dad? Sitting on his laps while the cubs lost to another game, I can still hear him and Harry Caray yelling even today! giving us all the change in his pocket at the end of the day, running after the snow cone man for us, movies on the living room floor with his midnight snack always easy to share, sitting at the kitchen table eating all of our suppers, helping us do homework there as well, carrying us to bed when we fell asleep at night, hugging us all the time, if something was upsetting us he would always say, “it is going be okay” and it always was, my list could go on and on. The foundation you gave me through that time drives me through the storms even today and I am able to move forward with one foot in front of the other in even raising my own child, free and clear of what love alone can do, and never will I ever forget all I ever needed to live this life is what you alone taught me in that trailer.