Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guest Post By Ezra's Daddy: A Homegoing For My Father



My father, Albert C. Love, Jr., passed away on Sunday, June 28, 2009. This is a poem I wrote in his honor.



Welcome to my father’s homegoing!

 

He was a simple man with an extraordinary life,

A Georgia boy, born and raised in a wooden shack in Augusta, 

In the heart of Jim Crow,

With segregation all around,

And with lynchings always waiting just around the corner,

Born to a Black Mama,

And his old man was Irish, as he always told us.

 

Was sent to the Korean War and came back with medals, 

Then chose the printing trade, where Black men were mostly kept out,

He married my mother, the love of his life, and found a home in paradise, in Laurelton, Queens.

 

He was a simple man who had a lot to say,

About anything and everything you can imagine,

You might not have agreed with all he said, 

But what he said often made you laugh.

And he liked to tell jokes, even when the punchline was not apparent,

Except maybe in his own mind…

 

He had many loves, my father—

He loved his God and he loved his country,

He loved helping others, serving others,

With his church and with his fellow veterans.

He loved Monday night football,

And I dare you to find a bigger Knicks fan,

Actually, I dare you to find any other Knicks fan, anywhere.

And of course, he loved his family, 

And his two grandchildren Kris and Zora,

He bragged about them so much.

 

We grew up in completely different times,

And I know he didn’t always understand our world, my brother’s and mine,

Of Ivy League opportunities and overseas excursions.

But it didn’t mean he wasn’t proud,

Or that he wasn’t responsible for us being what we had become,

But in any case, he left us with a lot,

With memories of sitting on the back porch in the summertime,

And of the one-dollar matinee, and our shopping trips, 

And that ice cream shop,

And most importantly his work ethic.

 

I know my father would have preferred a different way to leave,

Maybe in his leather chair at home with a pipe in his hand,

Watching wrestling or listening to B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland,

Maybe with a big plate of lima beans and rice.

 

But my biggest regret was that he never got to meet my son Ezra,

That baby boy who died last season, on the day before he was born.

But now I know that things have come full circle,

And the two of them have found each other in that spirit world,

That land where the ancestors dwell and conduct their business.

And now my son is sitting on my father’s knee,

Listening to my father’s colorful stories, his life experiences,

And all sorts of jokes of course.  

 

And all along, that was the way it was supposed to be,

With my son sitting on his grandfather’s knee,

And you can’t ask for a better homegoing than that.

21 comments:

marlono said...

David and Sarah,

I am sorry for your loss -- again. The loss of one's parent is the loss of a part of your past and history. I hope that the knowledge of your father and Ezra being together gives you some small measure of comfort.

-Marlon

Michele said...

What beautiful pictures of you and your dad. I am so sorry for his passing. Like marlono, I hope that knowing he is holding Ezra and loving on his grandson gives you a measure of peace. Sending hugs...

Barbara said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss David and Sarah.

He sounds like a wonderful man, and a fitting guardian for Ezra.

Wishing you and your family peace

xxx

angie said...

Beautiful tribute and poem, David. Both Sam and I are just so very sorry for your loss. Losing both an ancestor and descendant is overwhelmingly difficult. In your beautiful poem, I love the image of Ezra sitting on his knee listening to stories and laughing. With much love.

Dani819 said...

David and Sarah,

Our hearts are with you, now and always. David, you have your dad's smile- his grandson Ezra is in good and loving hands.

-Danielle and Alan

Sara said...

A lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss, for the loss of your father itself and for the grief on top of grief.

k@lakly said...

I'm so sorry. What a lovely tribute you paid him. I have the image of him and Ezra together, forever, on my mind and in my heart.
xxoo

Hope's Mama said...

Such peaceful images in my mind now of Ezra with his grandfather.
Our deepest sympathies to you both.
Sally & Simon, Melbourne Australia

Jenni said...

so sorry for your loss. love and peace to you and yours.

Monique said...

David & Sarah,

I can't say how sorry I am for your loss - another hit. I love the image of your dad looking after Ezra. He sure sounds like he'll be in good hands. Much love to you both. ((Hugs))

Carly Marie said...

I am thinking and praying for you all xxx

Kara aka Mother Henna said...

David & Sarah,

My heart to you both. What a treat to get to see these photos and hear your love for him. *Tears* reading your writing, David. I had a similar feeling when my Unkie (man who was grandfather in my life) died -- I miss him incredibly, but I strongly felt he finally met up with Kota on the other side. And it brought me some small tiny comfort to know Kota would have him there.

Just thinking of all of you!
miracles,
k-

Sophie said...

So sorry for your loss. What a gorgeous pic of you and your dad!

*hugs*

Catherine W said...

David & Sarah
What a beautiful poem.
What a tribute to your father.
I am so sorry for your loss.
I hope that Ezra is sitting on his grandfather's knee, laughing at his stories and jokes.
xx

Jacinta said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. You have both been through so much.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful story of your father with us. I love the thought of he and Ezra together and I hope that brings you some comfort.

Rach said...

David and Sarah,

I am so sorry for your loss.

A lovely tribute to your father. And thank you for sharing these family photos.

I hope he is taking care of Ezra and all his little friends, somewhere.

Rachael and Steve
xxx

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

Indeed you can't, David. If your father is holding Ezra with the same kind of love he is holding you in these gorgeous photos, then I am sure both of them are in the most wonderful hands for eternity. Sending you love.

Lani said...

I'm so sorry for your loss David & Sarah. thanks for sharing the photos and the beautiful thoughts.

lots of love to you both.
xo

JuliaS said...

Here from LFCA

Wonderful pictures and a very moving tribute to what sounds like an amazing man. I am truly sorry for your loss. Sending you thoughts of peace and healing.

Tash said...

Oh D, what amazing pictures. He just looks so comfortable in his own shoes, so warm. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all.

aliza said...

i love the image of ezra sitting on his grandfather's knee. the two of them taking care of each other.

i am so sorry for the loss of your father, david and your father-in-law, sarah. may his memory be a blessing always.

the poem is so beautiful. a glimpse into your father's life, a tribute to a special man and so much love.

sending you both love and comfort
xo