Never A Dad Around
by Geoffrey L. Bradley
Along the southern shores of Lake Michigan, southeast of the Windy City, lies Gary, Indiana. Within Gary, Indiana this fine evening, you will see the silhouette of Ramel Wiggins riding his bike. Ramel Wigging is your average child. He loves to play hard, very smart in school, and always asks questions about anything that he may be curious about. He held nothing back. In other words, the cat could not catch his tounge even if it wanted too.
Ramel's mother, Rhonda Wiggins was a beautifully intelligent and inspiring young woman. Though she had a big responsibility of being both mother and father, she performed both roles very well. Ramel knew that she could not actually be his father, but he understood what she was trying to do. Unfortunately, several children only have on parent, like Ramel.
A few streets from Ramel lived a man named Joseph. Whenever Joseph was Ramel, he would always talk to him as if he were a grown man. Ramel like that about Joseph. It was rare that anyone would do that to him. Over the years, Joseph and Ramel became very close friends. Joseph would always say some positive to Ramel to really make him think. Joseph would teach him about life from the male point of view, and Ramel soaked in every word like a sponge. Ramel's most important question was, "Why are we call Black People?"
Joseph explained to Ramel that he was Black only because someone told him that he was. He then told Ramel to get a black crayon and compare it to his skin. Joseph made it clear for Ramel to never be what someone tells him that he is. "Be what you feel you are. You are born from a great civilization and people. Become a great man!"
When Joseph had the spare time, he would take his children, along with Ramel, to the library. He would point out interesting books in the children's section that they could read, and get a better understanding of themselves and their people.
One day, Ramel made a very important discovery when he came across a book which had a story about his great-grandfather. He discovered the meaning of his very own name, which was also his great-grandfather's name. He found that RA comes form the name of the GOD of Kemit (Ancient Egypt), and MEL comes from his great-grandfather's grandmother who's name was Melinda. This made him proud. He now had an idea of his own identity. He was very grateful that Joseph had taken him to the library.
Ramel always held a deep admiration for Joseph. Especially how Joseph seemed to spend most of his time teaching his children how to live positive against negative forces. This really made Ramel miss not having his dad around. He would sit in his room somedays upset form this missing link in his life. Sometimes he just cried to himself. One evening, Joseph was driving by on his way home, when he noticed Ramel sitting on the porch alone and crying softly. Joseph got out of the car to make sure that everything was fine. He found that Ramel was crying because most children he knew has their dad at home with them and he did not.
Joseph explained to Ramel that he can never understand how it feels to not have his dad in his life. But, he did understand that Ramel needed a male role model in his life. He then told Ramel that although he was married with a family of his own, he will always be there for Ramel, if needed. Even if only to sit on the porch and talk, it would be no problem.
That one conversation changed Ramel's complete outlook on life. Ramel is now grown with a family of his own and doing quite well. He remembers the conversation he held with Joseph and how it helped him throughout life and into manhood. But most of all he thanks his mother Rhonda, for being his mother and father, his role model, and his divine inspiration.
Message: Anyone can produce a child, but it takes someone and something special to raise a child in a positive direction in preparation for adulthood. We must all lend a hand when raising our children.