Aug 5, 2009

20 Years Ago

My uncle, Buddy, stage name, Vinx.

They say that the first man a girl ever loves is her daddy. Which is true, in my case. But, luckily, I was given 2 men, real men, to love before I could even walk (or talk or write or eat solid foods, etc. lol).

Almost 26 years ago, my beautiful. wonderful self was born into this world, welcomed by, among others, my grandfather. Poppy, as I called him (cuz just learning to talk Melissa couldn't pronounce things properly, remember? Lmao). He was, according to my mother, delighted to have his first grandchild. And, as I vaguely remember, he was even more delighted that I was.......a handful, because he liked to watch my mother try to manage me. Parents, it seems, sit in wait for the day when their children have to be parents, so they can laugh at them. Ha!

20 years ago, while stopping for a pack of cigarettes at a gas station, my Poppy, my mother's Daddy, an Air Force veteran, husband, brother, son, was killed. Stabbed to death by some carjacking career criminal the prison system decided they no longer had room to house. For the wallet he willingly gave up and the keys he hurriedly handed over.

20 years ago, some punk broke my grandmother's heart.

When my daddy passed away, one of the first things my mother said (in a laughably vain attempt) to comfort me was that I was lucky to have had a father, a real father, who loved me and raised me and disciplined me and took care of me. In her eulogy, she jokingly talked about how I had (in all seriousness) come home from my first year of college and hugged her, thanking her for staying married to my father, because I had seen what growing up without a man in the home could do to a young girl. I read the tribute she gave at her own father's funeral and something else she said touched me (it turns out that my mother is actually as wise as she pretends to be):
Daddy was the first man I ever loved, and the first man to love me. So when I began to look for the man to spend the rest of my life with, I knew exactly what qualities were important. The attributes I found in my husband were the ones I observed in my daddy.
And she was right.

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