The Father My Family Needs

 Fatherhood does have the same image as motherhood. Although, it is a concept that many enjoy, many do not have fond memories of their Father. We know Fatherhood should be more than a biological function. It is an amazing gift, an opportunity to be a part of creating life and contributing to its development. Fatherhood should take a person out of the realm of selfishness and place them in a position of leadership, to significantly add to the life of others.

When Fatherhood is viewed through the eyes, minds and expressions of mate and our children, we can see the enormous value and expectations inherent in the role. Children learn so much from our presence and our absence. The family knows each person is valuable when Fathers love and support them. They feel accepted and important.

When Fathers function on all cylinders, life is better for our families. By extending love, providing direction and support, we make each family member stronger to face a challenging world. I try to be the best Father possible, faults and all, and hope my example inspires my wife, my daughter and my son. My children will learn from me, either what to do or what is not acceptable. I will always have an open door to converse about their triumphs and their difficulties. It is my role and I accept it willingly.

As a poet, I have written over 600 poems about a variety of people and topics. It dawned on me years ago that I had not written a poem about my Father, to my father. I sat down and the words and images of appreciation washed over me. The many memories spelled out a title, which quickly rolled from my thoughts to my notebook; “He stayed.”

He stayed –

A tribute to my father,

Norrell Ceaser


He stayed,

When it was more convenient to walk away,

He chose to raise his family

And to this day,

His potent presence helps give life definition

And models manhood as

A cherished tradition. 

He stayed

And said expect bad weather and rocky terrain,

But persevere and push patiently

Through the pain

Of ambiguity

And the desire to quit;

Wrestle the problem

Until you conquer it.

He stayed

And went to high school through

A correspondence course.

He would use discipline

And threatened to use force.

His conversation

Made sure his message was felt

And condemnation

Was never used, but a belt

Was added to his repertoire

Of instruments,

To let us know that what he said,

Was what he meant. 

He stayed

And helped manufacture memories

To soothe me,

Like watching wrestling on TV

And monster movies

And staying at company

Picnics until dark

And spending time

At River View

Amusement Park.

He stayed,

I remember he put peanuts in his Pepsi,

He worked three jobs

And each time he left me,

There was never

A question that he would return.

His life was the lesson

And we were there to learn

The difference between false

And what was true;

A case study of what to do

And not to do.

He stayed.

The best summer of my life

We worked together.

We rode the busses and the train,

Discussed whether

College would prepare me

For all that life demands.

He wanted me to use my mind,

Not just my hands.

He stayed.

He read manuals to repair appliances;

Left us to do our math

And the sciences.

He had his problems

But held up under the strain

Of raising eleven children

And did not complain.

He was always soft-spoken

When I walked with him;

Accessible and open

When I talked with him.

We are thankful for the foundation

That he laid.

We feel love and appreciation

Because he stayed.

Copyright © 2007 Orlando Ceaser

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