Thursday, June 12, 2008
A Procession of One
The word bitch should be used solely in conjunction with the word grief. I promise you, if I ever hear another man call a woman a bitch, I don't care who he is, I'm going to hurt him. If I ever hear another woman call a man a bitch, I'll release a few choice words that will touch her core, but she'll be able to continue. Neither a man nor a woman can make you feel as sickening as grief can. I don't care what they do to you - cheat, lie, steal or slam you to the ground and run. Grief is the only bitch I know.
Grief intruded into my life June 4th 2008 at 4:20pm. That's when I received a call from my father's wife informing me that my daddy, Bobby James Hudson, was gone. She said it as calmly as she could. "Niecy, we lost Bobby today." That's when my procession of one began.
I proceeded to cry. I proceeded to yield to the shit feeling that was ravaging my body, because I couldn't fight back. I proceeded to collapse and let myself be gutted by grief. Grief cuts your insides and churns them at the same time, runs them over, burns them, and leaves them there expecting you to function as if oh well should be the next words you say.
The first steps of my procession were to see my daddy lying in his coffin. Simply visiting my daddy became viewing his body. I was at a wake that would never allow for sleep. This wake wanted tears and I obliged...boy did I oblige.
My procession kept going strong with then next day being more forceful than the first. The funeral told me to say goodbye. I only did so after God told me to hold onto His hand. He said that I will see my daddy later.
Next, the cemetery. Grief began to slither around my throat. It's hold grew tighter and tighter but I still saw the coffin which held my daddy - even with my shades on and my eyes closed.
I know we all go through this but it doesn't diminish the fact that my daddy broke my heart. I know he didn't mean to. I know he loved his babygirl. When I was younger my father told me that he wouldn't always be here. His words - "Babygirl, ya daddy ain't always gone be here." My words - "Well, where are you going to be?" Together we'd laugh. Lawd, I miss my daddy.
A father's love for his daughter is priceless. Fellas, you all can step up your game and you still won't measure up. My daddy made me feel SO special. His encouraging words to keep on babygirl, stick with it, success doesn't come overnight. Man, this hurts.
I wanted my father to see me make it. To him, I already did. He saw something different in me. He saw that I stepped out on faith and did what my passion told me to. I know that he was proud of me.
Bobby James Hudson was the first black man to work in an office position at the TAM Plant in Niagara Falls NY. 1968 didn't have a civil rights march for him - he was just being a provider for his family. Tuskegee Institute taught my daddy a few things. He took that knowledge and eventually opened his own store, Hudson Tile and Carpet in Ocala Florida. But that was after he showed others how it should be done at the Color Tile store in Niagara Falls NY.
My daddy and his ideas! I smile just thinking about them. Shaklee, Amway, Omaha Steaks and BARD (Bobby, Alice, Ronny, Denise) Security. His favorite food - fried chicken. Once my daddy told me that he could eat fried chicken every day! Why? "'Cause I was raised on it babygirl." Oh... I miss my daddy.
He taught my brother to keep a handkerchief in his pocket. My brother now has taught that to his sons. Something so simple. but something to be proud of still. He taught me to be me, and ain't nuthin' wrong with that :-)
Golf, golf, golf. Why did I say that golf was a dumb game...that all you do is walk around hitting a ball. Lawd, did I get a LECTURE on golf! I was a teenager. I'm 42 now and I have NEVER said a bad word about the game of golf since!
I'll hurt, I'll cry and still talk too much about my daddy. My procession will continue with me working it out and being the woman that Bobby James Hudson knew I could be.
I love you daddy.
Wanda D. Hudson
Wait for Love: A Black Girl's Story