Closer than a Brother
My friend Margaux woke me up sobbing on the phone in my ear one Sunday morning last August. My business partner and I decided not to drive back to NY after vending our T-Shirts at the “Passion Fest” in Pennsylvania, so we stayed overnight in a rinky dink motel so as not to drive home in the dark. As I navigated through my morning brain fog into semi-consciousness, I began to hear what she was saying. I thought something tragic happened, but it turns out she just ran into ran into my youngest sons’ “dead-beat Baby Daddy” F. R. who was cleaning his car.
It disturbed her deeply that my son’s natural father never made an effort to come to his graduation a few weeks ago.
Now, as I reflect-this is tragic.
Of course my husband, my oldest son , my immediate family and close friends were at graduation, but Terrence from the Teen Organization that Kris belongs to also came. All of the important people in his life who love him came to his graduation, and I know it was special for him, but the person who would have made Kris really happy didn’t come, or call.
This is an all too common scenario today, and a sad commentary on the state of fatherhood in the African-American community.
I know way too many mothers that shoulder the parenting responsibility alone, the father either being absentee, or deadbeat.
The last time I was in court for child support, his father asked for a reduction in the child support order that he was already not honoring because he was now on “public assistance”. Never mind that he finds the money to go back and forth to Florida several times a year, and the money to buy his booze...
The judge reduced his payment to zero.
“Indefinitely?” I asked her in disbelief.
The indifferent judge looked at me and said “possibly” as she struck her gavel and dismissed the case.
And just like that, I lost any little faith I had in the justice system.
I am blessed to have made a decent living through my career designing,
and I am grateful to God to have wonderful men in my boy’s lives, but I am even more grateful to have a sister-friend like Margaux.
We can call each other and pray for whatever, but even more than that,
Margaux called this brother out on the carpet about not showing up at his son’s graduation. She totally confronted him about not calling or seeing his son. She told me verbatim excuse after excuse that he recited.
I was not surprised at all.
Kris is thirteen, and I can count on one hand how many long visits
he’s had with his dad.
Through her tears, Margaux was sobbing for my son, for her own sons, and for every sister in the same situation’s sons.
We go way back. In fact we met when I first became pregnant with Kris right after my mother passed away. I thought F.R. was a good friend until he totally abandoned me when I became pregnant. As a Christian, abortion was not an option for me-so I knew I’d have to go with God on my side…and by my side He has been. I don’t regret anything, and Kris is a wonderful blessing in my life. I know that there are scores of women that heva fallen into a similar situation.
Thinking about the wonderful support I’ve had from family, my church, and my friends brings tears to my eyes.
Friends do make a difference, and so this post is a tribute to my dear friend Margaux for the entire world to see. I sent her this e-mail the other day:
For being such a wonderful sister-friend.
You really touched my heart the other morning when I saw that my baby's pain touched you...
friends like you are hard to come by.
Thank you for caring so much for Kris.
Thanks for speaking your heart and mind to F____ representing Kris & me like that. Not everyone would get involved that way.
Don't worry-between you, me & God he has enough love to survive!!!!
(Like I said- I trust that God is gonna deal with these men when they meet Him face to face.)
May God richly bless you today and always.
I know I get busy & absent minded-but I only have the highest thoughts, wishes & regards for you.