Dear Columbus Wilson,
I never really knew you so this letter is hard for me. I know small snippets of the bad you did and a small snippet of a fatherly type thing you did when I was a small child but since you were never there and I rarely talked to you once at around 10 and once at 19 since I was like six there isn’t a lot for me too say in your memory but I will ask questions and hopefully this will ease my mind.
1. Why weren’t you there?
Now I need not go into detail about how important it is for a boy to have a father in his life. I know you had other children in a whole different state plus a daughter about five days younger than me from a woman across town. (Ironically same name as my mother) but why didn’t you at least try to keep some contact with me. I remember when I was 19 right after I joined the Army last time I talked to you before you died while you expressed how you were so hurt I went to the military a decision I had made with my life. Don’t you think if you were there you things may ave possibly turned out different? I know you told me you tried but apparently you didn’t try hard enough. An almost ten year hiatus without talking to your son when you were just one state south of me the whole time doesn’t cut it. I know you were sick from the poor decisions of drug abuse you inflicted upon yourself early in life but once again it is no excuse. If I were sick (and my mentality is probably because of your absence) I would want my children to know me more in that moment my last moments more than ever. You angered me so bad. An anger I kept with me for a very long time.
2. It’s not all your fault.
I know you have heard the saying it takes two to tango. While my mother never truly went out of her way most of the time to bash you. She never had a problem reminding me about how horrible you were to her and me. My mother had a strong distaste for you and I don’t blame her considering the way you treated her. All the lies, drugs, cheating etc. But at the same time my mother chose to deal with you. A choice she made and she acted as if it weren’t a choice. Like you forced her to lay down and make me. I never understood how women could be so in love with a man then turn around and act like the same dude you let hit is now the most disgusting ever, you know? It’s crazy to me. I know my mother’s uneasy attitude when you came to visit me that one time by making me go outside and stand on the porch and talk to you rather than you coming in probably didn’t make it easier for you to come back. You know something funny I remember though? Remember when you whispered in my ear before you left to tell my mother you still loved her? Yeah, I didn’t tell her. I knew not if you were any good but my mother had put in my head already how crappy of a person you were so at the time I was going to save her the heartache.
3. You were and will be missed
As much as I try and act like my family doesn’t exist these days I can’t. My family is my background, my history, and who I am. I can’t change that. Growing up there was always a half of who I am that was missing. Nothing other than that makes me angry. The fact that me being black already limits avenues as too how I can find my family’s history beyond the mid 1900′s. This may sound like a redundant question, but why didn’t you fight harder too be with me? To raise your son and possibly be an influence in his life. I grew up with a mother, a sister, four girl first cousins and an aunt. Any male influence growing up would have been greatly appreciated those days. I was tormented through out middle school because no one ever told or taught me too stand up for myself. Something I had too learn the hard way. Example, my mother telling me to tell the teacher if anyone ever messed with me like that will make it go away. I never tried that by the way. I just didn’t make sense. Anyway, I never knew you Columbus but I miss you. I miss what kind of relationship we could have had and what we missed out on. Even though you aren’t here you taught me how important a father is in a child’s growing up. I had so many holes and gaps in life I had to fill in on my own from how to tie a tie to puberty to women and on and on. You are dead now. Six feet under are burned not sure what they did with your body considering I was in Afghanistan when you died.
See you Columbus. I love you and miss you.