My beloved father departed this life on Valentine’s Day of 2022, approximately 16 months after my mother. I cannot elucidate the depth of my pain.  Losing my parents have cast me into a nightmare from which I pray to awaken.  Sadly, I cannot.  This is the reality of life. 

My daddy was my hero and my confidant.  He was my protector and life coach.  Reconciling that I no longer have him in human form is heart wrenching. For quite some time, I have been wondering the way I would memorialize the greatest man I knew. He was an icon in his own right.

Daddy served his country, his family and community.  He was a public servant in the most admirable form. Most importantly daddy was the patriarch of our family and a mentor to so many others.

I had the gift of being with my father during his last days on earth.  As I witnessed him decline right before my eyes, immediately I began to beg and plead.  I asked God not to take daddy so soon after he called mommy home.  In the flesh, it felt harsh.  In the spirit, it was God’s gift of mercy.  Verily, he was never the same since the day my mother left this earth.  They were together over six decades and I cannot imagine the pain he felt living without her. 

Soon after my mother’s death, my father began having medical issues.  Back and forth to the doctor we went.  His words to me were “your daddy is going to stay with you for as long as he can.” My words, after the tears fell, were “please daddy. I cannot lose you too.” I held on as tight as I could.  

As I reflect on his final days, I will never forget the hospital staff that took such great care of him.  They accommodated my family so that he was never alone.  They tried hard to give him every chance at survival.  I prayed and prayed over my daddy, asking for peace, strength and understanding.  I wanted peace for the journey he would soon embark upon and for acceptance of the upcoming loss I would endure, all too soon. I continue to pray for strength to get through the rest of my life without the two people responsible for mine.

Superbowl Sunday was on February 13th of 2022.  My daddy was in and out, yet, this was the most aware he had been in days.  I recall a moment when he opened his eyes and looked at me as I was wiping his face and kissing his cheek.  My words “I love you daddy” were met with a stare.  His eyes spoke to me.  They told me the time was at hand. His eyes leaked because he knew he had to leave me behind.  We had sacred moments during those twilight hours, and as I sang to him, I asked God to help me usher my daddy into Glory.

On the afternoon of Valentine’s Day, daddy took his last breath. Our family was by his side and once again my heart shattered.  The only comfort I had was knowing that he was reunited with my mommy.  February 14th will always be a bittersweet reminder of the day my daddy died.  It feels Shakespearean, because coupled with the tragedy of loss is the greatest love story told.  He was reunited with his true love on Valentine’s Day. I witnessed it unfold. No more loneliness, illness, and sorrow.  They are together again, for eternity. There is no greater gift than that.

I remain in awe that my father died during Black History month and American Heart Month. Daddy was a walking, talking history book.  He always taught me to honor my history and heritage.  He loved from the depths of his heart. Nothing about my father’s life was coincidental. His kindness, altruism, activism, and dedication to mankind makes me proud to be his daughter.  Although I am wandering through the wreckage of grief, trauma, and loss, I understand the magnitude of protection that encompassed me my entire life.  Daddy, you fought a good fight and finished your course. I recall the letter you wrote me in college avowing how proud you were of me and how much you love me.  I want you to know that my love, adoration, and appreciation for you transcends this earthly realm.  You will always be my superhero and I love you forever and a day.  All that I did not understand, I see clearly now.  As you were preparing for the pilgrimage to your heavenly home, you were preparing my spirit to carry out your legacy. I will take it from here.  I promise that I will live fervently and fight fiercely until it is my turn to run into your arms once again. I bless God because there is no greater love than the gift of a father’s love and covering.  I am FOREVER my daddy’s girl.  Thank you for the beautiful life you gave me. Rest in peace. 


“I feel your love when you are not near, it helps me make it knowing you care. The thought of you helps me carry on when I feel all hope is gone. I see the world with brand new eyes, your love has made me realize, my future looks bright to me.”  (You Are My Friend – Patti Labelle)


Teresa and her mother dressed to the nines
Teresa and her mother dressed to the nines