My dad was affectionately called Bunny (because he was born on Easter), and our family owned the Barbecue Restaurant on W. Pine St. I can remember the Pit in the backyard of my grandparent’s house where they would roast the pig for the next day. We would take this path from my grandmother’s house to the restaurant. We would cook all night in order to serve the community the following day. After my grandparents passed my father took over the restaurant and owned a transportation shuttle service. He believed that it was nothing like working for yourself.
This August will be the 10th anniversary of my father leaving this earth. Can I be honest with you? My journey of grief was extremely hard. It affected my health, and I was in denial for a while. I am my father’s only child, so I felt that I was on this journey by myself. I began to believe the excuses that I was telling myself so I wouldn’t visit the gravesite. Today, on this day, I can say that I am ready.
I will admit I was angry with God. I was angry because I fasted and prayed for my father to stay here with me. I was neglecting the fact that he was doing dialysis multiple times a week, and he wasn’t getting any better.
My boss at the time was concerned about me, so she gave me a card to talk to someone in our onsite counseling department. I ignored her kind gesture. I would rather find comfort in food. In the black community I think we have put a stigma on crying or mourning. It’s so taboo to talk about our grief. It wasn’t until my mom noticed a change in me. Because she’s mom she tried to tell me that my weight had gotten out of control. The wake-up call was her saying I don’t want you to go down the same path as your father. It was at that moment I decided to take my life back. I found the card that my boss gave me and decided to talk to someone. One of the best decisions I could have ever made.
There was a sermon that I heard years ago that when people pray and ask for healing we immediately expect for that person to be healed and go back to their normal self. We have to remember that God keeps his promises. The person that God took away from us is no longer hurting or in pain. They are indeed resting. All this time I was angry with God because he didn’t honor my prayer, but honestly he did exactly what He said he was going to do. He didn’t do it the way that I wanted him to, or that I thought he was going to do it. I felt so much better after receiving that message. I believe that was God’s way of telling me that my father was indeed in a better place. I knew that my dad hated dialysis, and it was selfish of me to want him to be here and continue to suffer. Even though my dad didn’t get a chance to see me graduate from college, or get married; I can say that I’m okay. It was a long road getting here. I’m at peace with God, and myself. I choose to live, and that’s something to rejoice about.